Michigan AG: Scammers preying on coronavirus fear

Coronavirus
generic cellphone generic scam call_189777

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Attorney General’s Office on Thursday warned people to be wary of anyone who calls looking for your Medicaid or Medicare information.

State officials said that scammers are spoofing the phone number of the Ionia County Health Department — tricking your caller ID about where the call is coming from — and pretending to be a health official to get your Medicaid and Medicare numbers.

If you’re uncertain about a call, just hang up. Do not ever give out personal information to a caller you weren’t expecting to hear from.

“Scammers will not hesitate to gain access to your private information, and false promises of medications will not be fulfilled,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “As a result of this scam, the number of calls to local public health departments are also hindering their ability to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said it’s been getting complaints about people pretending to be Red Cross volunteers offering door-to-door COVID-19 testing. Those tests are fake the people aren’t from the Red Cross. If they show up at your house, don’t open the door and call police.

Any text messages from someone claiming to be a health care or Red Cross worker giving away masks or testing kids are also fake, the sheriff’s office said. Don’t click any provided links.

The state said to also watch out for online scams selling fake products or giving out fake information about testing and treatments. Go to a trusted news source or directly to the state for the latest information.

The attorney general’s consumer protection hotline has extended its hours through the weekend after the uptick in complaints. While phone lines are generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, calls will also be handled from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Consumers with a complaint can call the tip line at 877.765.8388.

TRACKING CORONAVIRUS:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

COVID-19 in West Michigan

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links

Coronavirus Resources

More Coronavirus Resources