The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) continues to warn the public about fraud related to COVID-19.
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There are a multitude of scams, as bad actors are taking advantage of the pandemic.
Some scams that you should be aware of include:
- Hackers will target social media accounts and send direct messages posing as a friend or government employee and asked to call a number to collect government funds. They are then asked to pay a “processing fee” to receive money, and they are victims of theft as much more than a processing fee is taken, without providing any funds.
- There are false offers of Medicare prescription cards.
- There are offerings of illegitimate COVID tests for Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal information.
- Medical labs are targeting retirement communities pretending to offer COVID-19 tests, while really billing unnecessary medical services.
These scams are being carried out via calls, texts, social media, and door-to-door visits.
It is essential that you protect yourself, loved ones, and patients from scams.
Protect yourself by:
- Not responding to calls from unknown individuals, claiming to be contract tracers or otherwise related to COVID-19.
- Be wary of unsolicited requests for any personal information, including medical or financial information.
- Do not open any links in texts from unknown individuals.
- Do not pay to enhance your ranking to receive a vaccine – that is a scam.
- Government officials will not call you to ask for personal information to receive the vaccine or come to your door.
- Ignore offers or ads for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media. Use official testing sites only.
If you do suspect any COVID-19 fraud, report it by calling 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).
Have you experienced any COVID-19 fraud? Let us know by commenting below!
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