The Journal Gazette
 
 
Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:49 pm

Verbatim: Beware of Fraud Schemes Related to COVID-19

The following was released on Thursday, March 26, 2020:

Indianapolis – The Indiana Department of Insurance is alerting Hoosiers to be aware of scammers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A warning was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General regarding scams by fraudsters who are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. These services are unapproved and illegitimate.

 

Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries in a number of ways, including telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits. They are using the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harm. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill Federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft. If Medicare or Medicaid denies the claim for an unapproved test, the beneficiary could be responsible for the cost.

 

Protect Yourself

Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers.

Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.

Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites.

A physician or other trusted healthcare provider should assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing.

If you suspect COVID-19 fraud, contact National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov

Contact SHIP with Your Medicare Questions

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free and impartial counseling program for people with Medicare. SHIP is provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance. All of SHIP’s services are free and are not affiliated with any insurance company or agency. SHIP counselors have completed intensive training to offer you objective assistance in complete confidence. To contact a counselor, call 1-800-452-4800. For the TDD line for the hearing impaired, call 866-846-0139.


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