The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) warns that scammers are aggressively targeting Medicare and Medicaid recipients for COVID-19 fraud.
The fraudsters are reaching beneficiaries through telemarketing or robocalls, social media, and even door-to-door visits. (There’s another reason social distancing is a great idea!) They claim to offer COVID-19 tests in exchange for personal and Medicare information, often to fraudulently bill Federal health care programs. (Now that is almost as scary as the Coronavirus.)
Consumers can be harmed in several ways. There may be no test provided or even a fake test. And if Medicare or Medicaid denies a claim for an unapproved test, the beneficiary could be responsible for the cost. (Talk about adding insult to injury!)
HHS advises beneficiaries and the public to protect themselves, by:
- Ignoring offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatment on social media.
- Relying on your physician or other trusted healthcare provider to assess your condition and order or approve COVID-19 testing.
- Never providing personal and health coverage information in response to an unsolicited visit or call.
- Reporting suspected COVID-19 fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an alert from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services, “COVID-19 Fraud Alert,” published March 23, 2020.
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 offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate.