Current Scam Alerts
Text Message Scam
A new COVID-19 text message scam is making rounds. Please beware of a text message that says: "Someone who came in contact with you tested positive of has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested. More at COVID-19anon.com/alert." THIS IS A SCAM. This is not an alert from an official agency, so please do not click on the link.
Federal Stimulus Payment Scam
Scammers are using the news that the federal government will send one-time payments to millions of people across the country as part of the federal economic relief response to COVID-19 to steal personal information. The Michigan Department of Attorney General has already received reports that residents are getting emails form websites appearing to be official demanding that they provide PayPal, bank account or other financial information to receive the $1200 federal stimulus payment immediately. If you receive a text, email, or phone call from someone claiming to be from the government with a check for you - DO NOT FALL FOR IT.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Scam Calls
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has received several reports of clients with government-issued cell phones receiving calls regarding their benefits. The calls instruct them to either press 1 to continue receiving benefits, use their benefits by the end of the day, and in some instances, asking them to enter/verify personal information. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will never contact you utilizing robocalls. If you question the validity of a call, you may reach out to your MDHHS worker or contact MDHHS at MDHHSCommunityPartners@michigan.gov.
Red Cross Scam
The Red Cross has been receiving reports in several states, including the latest in Lowell, IN area that impersonators are posing as Red Cross personnel. Individuals are going house to house doing one of three things: 1) Attempting to sell Red Cross services to perform a COVID-19 test, 2) Solicit donations for COVID-19, and 3) Robbing the homeowner answering the door. The American Red Cross will not be going house to house offering COVID-19 testing, nor soliciting funds door to door. Indiana State Police (ESF-13) is verifying the report in Lowell, IN.
Scammers Spoofing Health Department Phone Numbers
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning that scammers are spoofing phone numbers of at least one local public health department and calling residents to offer medication while asking for their Medicaid and Medicare numbers for billing purposes. Incoming calls to the local health department are then jamming up phonelines and delaying official business in responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Reports so far have been focused on the Ionia County Health Department.
To seem more official, scammers often use a process known as “spoofing” – when a call appears to be coming from a legitimate government phone number. The caller may also sound professional and be very persuasive.
Anyone who receives a phone call they suspect to be a scam should hang up the phone. No one should give out personal information to an unsolicited caller.
Residents should also be aware of online coronavirus scams selling bogus products and providing false information on COVID-19 tests and treatments. These attempts to obtain the personal information of consumers may include emails or online posts pitching unreliable products, advice, fake tests and cures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Cease and Desist Letter Sent To Businesses for Selling Phony COVID-19 Protection Patch
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel this morning sent a cease and desist letter to two related Rockford-based businesses for marketing to consumers the "Coronavirus Defender Patch," which the companies falsely claim will help protect people from contracting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Senior Medicare Patrol - Fraud Alerts
As the number of people and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so do the scams associated with it. Scammers use public health emergencies as opportunities for new fraud schemes, and because older adults are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, they may target older populations.
Senior Medicare Patrol Consumer Alert
Senior Medicare Patrol Tipsheet
Beware of Fraudulent Coronavirus Tests, Vaccines and Treatments
While many Americans are sheltering at home to help “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19), they might be tempted to buy or use questionable products that claim to help diagnose, treat, cure, and even prevent COVID-19. Because COVID-19 has never been seen in humans before, there are currently no vaccines to prevent or drugs to treat COVID-19 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Click here to read the full article.