The Department of Health and Human Services is alerting the public about COVID-19 fraud schemes
Multiple government agencies have recently sent warnings to the public, alerting us of a surge in Covid-19 scams. Everything from fake vaccination cards to offers to “skip the line” and get vaccinated early for a fee. The HHS recently released an educational video about these scams you can share with family and co-workers. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/cAfrHJwpE4g
So give me the short version…
Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and even door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams. They offer COVID-19 tests, HHS grants, and Medicare prescription cards in exchange for money, personal and confidential information, including Medicare information.
Personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft. They are succeeding in defrauding the public.
- Be cautious of COVID-19 survey scams. Do not give your personal, medical, or financial information to anyone claiming to offer money or gifts in exchange for your participation in a COVID-19 vaccine survey.
- Be mindful of how you dispose of COVID-19 materials such as syringes, vials, vial container boxes, vaccination record cards, and shipment or tracking records. Improper disposal of these items could be used by bad actors to commit fraud.
- Offers to purchase COVID-19 vaccination cards are scams. Valid proof of COVID-19 vaccination can only be provided to individuals by legitimate providers administering vaccines.
- Photos of COVID-19 vaccination cards should not be shared on social media. Posting content that includes your date of birth, health care details or other personally identifiable information can be used to steal your identity.
- Be vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraud concerning COVID-19 vaccines. You will not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility. Government and state officials will not call you to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine.
- Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their personal, medical, and financial information. Medicare will not call beneficiaries to offer COVID-19 related products, services, or benefit review.
- Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
- Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in text messages about COVID-19 from unknown individuals.
- Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official testing site.
- Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to offer HHS grants related to COVID-19.
- Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number, financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test.
- If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).
If you think these tips might be helpful to someone you may know, feel free to share. We’re here to be a resource and protect the community.
Stay safe out there