The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Union families, especially those with elderly spouses or relatives, should take special note.
- COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. These services are unapproved and illegitimate. If Medicare or Medicaid denies the claim for an unapproved test, the beneficiary could be responsible for the cost.
- The ruse of contact tracing. Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number or financial information.
Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries in a number of ways, including telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill Federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft.
- Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers.
- Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
- 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.
NEED A TEST?
If you feel a need for a COVID-19 test, contact your doctor or other trusted healthcare provider. They will assess your condition and if needed, approve any requests for COVID-19 testing.
Under any circumstances, DO NOT give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to offer HHS grants related to COVID-19.
If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online at https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).