On March 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) issued an alert that warns seniors of a new scam related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing. Scammers are offering unapproved and illegitimate tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal information, including Medicare information. The scammers are then fraudulently billing federal health programs. Beneficiaries are being targeted via telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits.
Beneficiaries must protect themselves by:
- Being cautious of unsolicited requests for Medicare and Medicaid numbers;
- Being suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies;
- Ignoring offers or ads for COVID-19 testing or treatment on social media sites;
- Only allowing a trusted health care provider to assess their condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing; and
- Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or email@example.com if fraud is suspected.