The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has released a COVID-19 Fraud Alert to warn the public of fraud schemes.
“While many Americans are nobly rising to the occasion, sadly, some bad actors are preying on people’s fears for profit, perpetrating fraud schemes, including marketing fake COVID-19 test kits and unapproved treatments through telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits,” HHS Principal Deputy IG Christi Grimm said in a statement.
For the public to protect itself from fraud scheme, HHS OIG recommends the following:
- Be cautious of unsolicited requests for Medicare or Medicaid numbers;
- Be cautious of unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies;
- Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing on social media;
- Only allow physicians or other healthcare providers to assess health conditions and approve requests for COVID-19 testing; and
- Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or on firstname.lastname@example.org, if you suspect COVID-19 fraud.
“We remain committed to protecting the millions of beneficiaries across the country and supporting the dedicated health care professionals who are working so hard to serve the public during this pandemic,” Grimm said.