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Lifestyles over 50

COVID-19 Fraud: How To Protect Yourself

Your PA Senior Medicare Patrol empowers you and your family to prevent healthcare fraud. In this article, we’ll discuss different types of COVID-19 fraud schemes, how to protect yourself and your loved ones, and how to report scams when you see them. Educate yourself about scams and take proactive steps to avoid falling for these solicitations!

Types of COVID-19 fraud
Testing scams Scammers sell fake and unauthorized at-home COVID-19 test kits in exchange for financial or medical information. Scammers also set up fake testing sites to obtain this information.
Phishing scams Criminals send emails and text messages with information about COVID-19. However, the messages often contain malicious links or attachments.
Government impersonators People receive unsolicited calls and emails from someone claiming to represent Medicare or other government organizations offering free COVID-19 testing or products.

Protect yourself 
All of these scams aim to obtain your financial and medical information. Only share that information with trusted medical providers!

Here are some tips to get COVID-19 services and information in a safe way.

Testing 
Get free tests through your health insurance plan. Contact your provider to find an in-network pharmacy to get up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests per month. They’ll either be free on the spot, or you’ll get reimbursed once you submit a claim to your insurance plan.

Get free tests through Medicare. Medicare beneficiaries can receive 8 free tests per month from participating providers. Contact Medicare for a list of participating providers.

COVID-19 Information 
For information on vaccines, treatments, and tests, please speak with your primary care physician or other trusted medical professional. You can also visit the CDC’s COVID-19 web page for the latest information at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Report
If you experienced COVID-19 fraud, SPEAK UP! Reporting fraud helps protect yourself and your family and helps law enforcement and government agencies identify and prosecute those responsible.

Contact the following entities if you encounter COVID-19 fraud.
For help from the PA Senior Medicare Patrol, call toll-free 1-800-356-3606 for free and confidential assistance. Or, visit www.carie.org.
Medicare If your Medicare number has been compromised, request a new number.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/ or by calling 1-877-382-4357.
Contact Equifax, Experian, or Transunion to set up a free one-year credit alert.
Call your bank or other financial institutions and advise them of your situation.

Stay safe and have a happy new year!