As the country begins to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The HHS Office of Inspector General alerted the public about COVID-19 fraud schemes, with scammers using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams.
Con artists may also try to get Medicare Numbers or personal information so they can steal identities and commit Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud results in higher health care costs and taxes for everyone.
Protect Your Patients:
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 date of birth, health care details or other personally identifiable information can be used to steal personal identity.
Be vigilant and protect themselves from potential fraud concerning COVID-19 vaccines. They will not be asked for money to enhance their ranking for vaccine eligibility. Government and State officials will not call them to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine, and they will not be solicited door to door 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 they 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 they make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official testing site.
Do not give their 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 their Medicare number, financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for them 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).