COVID-19: Watch Out for Scams and Fraud
According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers are taking advantage of public fears surrounding coronavirus. Please be on alert for fraudulent telemarketing, online (web, email, social media), and even door-to-door requests.
Recent COVID-19 scams include:
- Fraudulent home testing kits for COVID-19 (This may include, COVID-19 tests, COVID-19 antibody tests, COVID-19 bundled blood-allergy test. Please note these kits are not approved by the FDA and therefore are not covered by your health plan.)
- Fraudulent vaccinations for COVID-19
- Fraudulent offers of in-demand products such as health, medical, and cleaning supplies
Scammers offer these products in exchange for personal information, which is then used to commit fraudulent activities.
If you receive an unsolicited offer for COVID-19 testing or related treatment and supplies from any source other than a trusted qualified health care provider, do not provide your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont member ID number or other personal information.
If you believe you have been scammed or your information has been compromised, you can report the fraud in the following ways:
- National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our Customer Service team (the number on the back of your ID card or 800-247-2583)
- Fraud at (800) 337-8440 or email email@example.com
The U.S. Office of the Inspector General offers some tips to protect yourself against these fraudulent schemes:
- Be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal information, such as your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont ID Number or your Medicare number;
- Be suspicious of unsolicited offers of COVID-19 tests or supplies;
- Ignore offers on social media of COVID-19 tests or treatment; and
- Only a physician or other qualified health care provider should recommend or approve requests for COVID-19 testing.
The OIG is also calling on the public to notify it of suspected fraud by contacting the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.