Group Warns of Fake Coronavirus Disease Testing Scam In-Person and by Telephone

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The Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol Program is warning the public to be wary of anyone other than a physician offering coronavirus testing.

There have been reports of individuals approaching households in Methuen and Lawrence with so-called coronavirus testing kits. Officials warn these may be attempts to rob seniors or steal their identities. The Senior Medicare Patrol suggests being particularly suspicious of anyone offering COVID-19 testing in exchange for your Medicare number, money, credit cards or to gain access into homes.

“Sadly, the scams around coronavirus testing are spreading almost as fast as the virus itself,” said Lucilia Prates-Ramos, the statewide director of the MA SMP program. “Testing can only be ordered by a treating physician. We have heard about teams in white coats are going door-to-door offering virus testing. This is NOT a valid offer. What they are really interested in is robbing the elder or stealing their identity. And we have heard reports of callers pretending to be a nurse offering test results once they get a credit card number. These kinds of calls are also not for real.”

The group advises residents to never accept a coronavirus test from someone who comes to your door; approaches you at the grocery store or other community venue, parking lot, etc.; calls offering a mail-in test in exchange for money or Medicare number; or calls to request your bank card or account information to pay for a test.

Prates-Ramos advises residents to call the police if anyone knocks on the door to offer medical testing.

For details about scams related to coronavirus testing call the MA SMP Program at 800-892-0890.

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