COVID-19 scammers target rural areas with fraudulent tests or treatments
WILLMAR — Residents in rural counties are facing scams related to COVID-19, according to a news release from PrimeWest Health.
According to the release, scammers are targeting people via telemarketing calls, social media and door-to-door visits.
One common scam is to offer a test kit in exchange for personal information such as health insurance information. The scammer will then use those details to bill false medical claims.
Miracle cures or treatments are another form of scam targeting communities.
PrimeWest Health has the following tips to help residents avoid becoming victims of a scam:
- Do not share personal, medical or financial information over the phone or through email.
- Beware of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If scammers get your personal information, they may use it in other fraud schemes.
- Ignore social media offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatment.
- Have a doctor or other health care provider assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing.
Call your health care provider or local public health office immediately if you have questions about offers or services relating to COVID-19.
PrimeWest Health is jointly owned by 24 rural counties and provides health coverage to individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid, MinnesotaCare and Medicare Advantage.
The owner counties include Beltrami, Big Stone, Chippewa, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Nobles, Pipestone, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Yellow Medicine.
As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status. If this coverage is important to you, please consider supporting local journalism by clicking on the subscribe button in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.