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Watch out for rampant COVID-19 scams

by Harvest Prude
Posted 4/14/20, 11:28 am

Bad actors are peddling fake cures and tests and posing as Medicare and IRS agents to scam Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Trade Commission said it had received nearly 18,000 fraud complaints related to the outbreak as of Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

How do I recognize a scam? In one widespread scheme, scammers called Medicare beneficiaries or even approached them in parking lots and offered them test kits for COVID-19 and protective gear like masks and hand sanitizer. Then they asked for personal information such as Medicare numbers, Social Security numbers, and the person’s name and address. Other scammers posed as IRS agents over the phone and said they needed banking information to send federal stimulus checks.

Dig deeper: Listen to what a fake Medicare scam sounds like on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. And for some good news, read about innovative ways people are being good neighbors during the pandemic.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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