Peddling COVID-19 Fraud Out of Truck

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Fraudsters never rest, it seems, especially when fear and desperation are in the air. With much of the public panicking over the health implications and economic fallout of the Coronavirus, others are trying to cash in on the pandemic through COVID-19 fraud. (Yes folks, we now have a new fraud category. It seems that COVID-19 fraud is spreading just as fast as the virus.)

A former doctor in a Nashville, Tenn. suburb was caught driving around town in a delivery truck adverting Coronavirus diagnostic tests. (I can just imagine him yelling over a bull horn, “Get your Coronavirus tests here,” as he canvassed neighborhoods.)

His efforts weren’t subtle: the yellow box truck included in large, red letters, “Coronavirus Testing,” with a website and 1-800 phone number, along with the medical symbol. (Stranger danger. Not exactly the place where you’d expect to get a medical test.)

Police traced the vehicle to Richard Feldman, of Bellevue, Tenn., whose medical license was suspended in 2008 for making false claims about a weight-loss drug. He was on probation with the state Board of Medical Examiners at the time.

Feldman denied that he was trying to scam the public and stopped operations. (No word yet on how this will add to his professional problems, but I’d say he doesn’t have much of a future in medicine.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the news report, “Former doctor behind suspected coronavirus testing fraud in Tennessee,” first reported by CNN on March 17, 2020.

BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WTVF/CNN) – A box truck promoting coronavirus testing raised a red flag for some residents of a town in Tennessee.

The yellow and red truck was parked in a highly visible spot over the weekend. It was advertising coronavirus testing and gave out a number people could call.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.