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COVID-19 scams: IMPD and FBI issue warnings

Scammers trying to get personal informaton
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Posted at 9:37 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 21:37:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 scams. They're out there, according to the FBI and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police. And you need to be careful.

Some scammers claim they can help you receive stimulus checks or unemployment payments. They can't and if you give them personal information you could become a victim of identity theft.

Others offer cures or treatments for the virus. They can't. It's important to remember that there are currently no vaccines, pills, lotions, lozenges, or any other over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19. These ‘cures’ can be extremely dangerous to your health – even fatal. Never accept a medical treatment or virus test from anyone other than your doctor, pharmacist, or local health department.

If someone offers you a vaccine, cure, or treatment, do not provide any personal information, including your financial information, Medicare or Medicaid number, or private health insurance information.

Then there are to COVID-19 test scammers who tell you the government has mandated that you take a COVID-19 test. This is different from contact tracing, where a health official may contact you to inform you that you were exposed to COVID-19 and should quarantine for 14 days. Scammers will likely ask you for health insurance information, including your Medicare or Medicaid number, or other personal information. Don't give it out.

If you do receive treatment for COVID-19, be sure to check the medical bills and Explanation of Benefits you receive from your provider, government health program, or insurance company after your treatment to ensure you have not been billed for medical services you did not receive and that the dates of service are accurate.

If you receive a robocall, hang up. Don't press any numbers or answer any questions.

Carefully research requests for donations. Do not send cash, gift cards, or wire money. Online and email scams can be reported to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.