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Beware of Fraudulent Testing

 

Last updated 1/13/2021 at 9:01pm | View PDF

The County of Tulare urges community members to be aware that instances of scammers going door-to-door with fraudulent COVID-19 tests have been reported in Tulare County.

Fraudsters may be asking individuals for credit card information or to pay for the fraudulent test out-of-pocket, in addition to gathering other private information, which may then be used for identity theft. Scammers may even use social media platforms, telemarketing calls, or text messages to gather this information.

A comprehensive list of verified county testing sites is at https://covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov. Community members can see an interactive map of testing sites and view all confirmed locations, including free testing, mobile testing, and all health care provider locations.

Verified county testing locations are safe, private, and never ask for out-of-pocket payments. Moreover, the county does not use door-to-door or in-home testing teams.

Protect Yourself

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG):

• Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.

• Never give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to be on a door-to-door testing team or to anyone offering money related to COVID-19.

• Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official testing site.

• Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number or financial information or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test.

• Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal, medical, and financial information. Medicare does not call beneficiaries to offer COVID-19 products, services or benefit review.

• Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in, text messages from unknown persons or entities offering COVID-19 information.

If you believe you are a victim of a COVID-19 related scam, call the HHS-OIG hotline at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477) and the Tulare County District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigations at (559) 636-5410.

 

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