The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Considering the anxiety created by the threat of COVID-19 infection, people may be tempted to buy or use suspicious products that claim to help diagnose, treat, cure, and even prevent COVID-19. There are people and companies trying to benefit economically from this pandemic by selling products that have not been evaluated and that falsely declare that they are effective against the coronavirus.
One of the population sector that is most affected by these fraudulent practices are the beneficiaries of Medicare and Medicaid. Scammers, when they offer tests for COVID-19 or vaccines against the virus, obtain the personal information of beneficiaries, including their health plan contract number. Once scammers obtain the beneficiary’s personal information, they use it to bill the Health Plans for services not rendered or for other identity theft schemes.
COVID-19 has never been seen in humans before, so there are currently no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat COVID-19 that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Currently, the only way you can be tested for COVID-19 is by talking to your healthcare provider.
- Do not provide personal information (name, social security, date of birth, health plan number).
- Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering test kits or supplies of COVID-19.
- Ignore COVID-19 testing or treatment offers or announcements on social media or the Internet.
- A doctor or other trusted health care provider should evaluate your condition and approve any COVID-19 test request.
You can refer any suspected fraud or abuse to the confidential fraud line at (787) 277-6633. Also, you can contact us by:
- Fax: (787) 625-8700
- Mail: Triple-S Salud, Inc.
Audit and Investigation Office
PO Box 363628
San Juan, PR 00936-3628