As the novel 2019 coronavirus (COVID-2019) is spreading locally and worldwide, people’s concern and anxiety are high. This concern, combined with new information daily, creates a situation ripe for confusion and fraud.
Here are things to remember to protect yourself and loved ones from COVID-19 scams:
- Beware of door-to-door solicitors selling test kits, and robocalls about “special virus kits” that ask for your Medicare number to send a “free” test. If you get such a visit or call, close your door or hang up. It’s a scam. Call your doctor to find out where to get tested in your community.
- Ignore online offers for vaccines. Currently there is no vaccine or any approved medicines, lozenges, pills, potions, or over-the-counter drugs to treat and cure COVID-19.
- Watch for fraudulent emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control or other experts saying they have information to give you regarding COVID-19. Often they want you to give your personal information, like your Social Security or Medicare number. Or they want you to click on a link to install ransomware on your computer. Get the most recent updates on COVID-19 at CDC’s website or the World Health Organization’s website (WHO) directly.
- Be mindful when giving donations, whether to charities or crowdfunding campaigns. Don’t let anyone rush you. If anyone asks for money via a gift card, wiring money or cash, don’t do it.
Remember, if you need to get tested for coronavirus, call your doctor to find out where to go in your community. There are NO legitimate tests being sold door-to-door or given over the phone. Tests are only administered by physicians.
If you do come across a COVID-19 scam, please report it to our Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 855-613-7080.
Also, download, read and share our new Coronavirus Scams Fraud Alert. It’s available in 9 languages.