With Covid-19 causing its own dangers to our lives and increasing in the United States, fraud based on the pandemic is increasing as well. Mary Loftis from the Nebraska Extension shared with us information regarding the fraud they are seeing.
” Scammers use public health emergencies as opportunities for new fraud schemes, and because older adults are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, they may target older populations. There is currently no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19 and although there may be treatments for symptoms, there is no “cure.” However, scammers often use fear-based tactics to convince people that a vaccine or cure is now being offered. It’s also important to remember that although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health officials may contact you if they believe you may have been exposed to the virus, they will not need to ask you for insurance or financial information.
The Nebraska SHIP recommends that Medicare beneficiaries:
- Contact your own doctor if you are experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19.
- Do not give out your Medicare number, Social Security number, or personal information in response to unsolicited calls, texts, emails, home visits, or booths at health fairs and other public venues. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes as
- Be suspicious of anyone going door-to-door to offer free coronavirus or COVID-19 testing, supplies, or
- Carefully review your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB), looking for errors or claims for products or services that weren’t
- Follow the instructions of your state or local government for other actions you should be taking in response to COVID-19.
- Contact your local Nebraska SHIP for help. Nebraska SHIP empowers and assists Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and
The Nebraska SHIP, a division of the Nebraska Department of Insurance, provides unbiased Medicare education and counseling, and helps combat Medicare fraud and abuse. If you have questions, concerns, or complaints about potential Medicare fraud and abuse, contact your local Nebraska SHIP office at 1.800.234.7119.”