The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams.
Although the Department of Employee Trust Funds has not received any notifications, it has been reported that individuals in Wisconsin are receiving calls and texts from scammers indicating they will send COVID-19 vaccines to you in exchange for your banking or credit card information.
Scammers are offering COVID-19 tests, HHS grants, and Medicare prescription cards in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. These services are unapproved and illegitimate.
Here are some tips:
- Government officials will not contact you in this way or ask you for money.
- Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal information.
- Do not respond to calls, voicemails, emails, texts — and don’t click hyperlinks. If you are contacted, don’t fall for it! The scammers can be very persuasive, bold, and aggressive.
- If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online or call 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).
The personal information collected by scammers can be used to fraudulently bill federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft.