How to Spot COVID-19 Scams and What You Should Do

How to Spot COVID-19 Scams and What You Should Do

How to Spot COVID-19 Scams and What You Should Do

Criminals are using COVID-19 as a chance to steal identities and commit health care fraud. You should be wary if you get a call asking for your BCBSIL member ID number or other private information like your social security number, date of birth, or credit card number. 

In some cases, scammers might tell you that they'll send you a COVID-19 test, masks or other items. All they will need is your health plan ID number. Others may say they need your credit card info to pay for shipping. 

Some scams aimed at stealing personal information or money that have been reported: 

  • Ads for vaccines, drugs or products to prevent or treat the virus. 
  • Emails about COVID-19 that include malware links or request personal information. 
  • Calls from “doctors” offering their telehealth services. 
  • Door-to-door visits offering to do home testing. 

If you get this type of call, email, text or mail, you should ask yourself these questions: 

  • Does it come from someone you know and trust?  
  • Does the offer seem too good to be true?  
  • Does it make you feel afraid or threatened?  
  • Is there urgency in the message to “act now before it’s too late?”  
  • Are they asking for money with the promise to get something in return?  
  • Do they want private information such as Social Security or credit card numbers?  
  • Are they claiming the service is free but still need my plan ID number? 

If there is any doubt, delete the email or text, hang up on the caller or destroy the mailer. 

If you have insurance, now is a good time to: 

  • Guard yourmember ID card like you would a credit or debit card 
  • If you get a health care claim summary but you haven’t had a health care visit lately, that should raise a red flag. Check your claims summary forms or explanation of benefits for errors each time you get one.  
  • Only share your member ID card number with: 
    • The drugstore you use 
    • Primary and specialty care doctors you’ve seen before 
    • Health professionals or facilities your doctors have referred you to 
  • Call BCBSIL customer service as soon as you find that it is lost or stolen.   

You should reportanything you suspect is fraud right away: Call our Fraud Hotline at 800-543-0867 (TTY 711) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or reportonline

If you suspect identity theft you can also file a complaint   with the Federal Communications Commission and/or contact your local police department. 

Note: Government agencies will never call you to ask for private information or money.  

Sources: 

 

Anonymous