During the last year, the world has been affected by the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to expand, scammers have also developed new strategies to defraud their victims.

One of the most widely used fraud mechanisms during this outbreak has been telemarketing.  Through this scheme, the scammers offer their victims a product or service in an attractive way to convince them to make their payment and in many cases they indicate they will not have to pay anything, only the shipping or handling costs. They are also offered some kind of “gift” with their order, such as products that are difficult to access during quarantine to attract their victims. But as part of the transaction they collect information from the person which is used to commit other forms of fraud.

Vaccines

With the arrival of the long-awaited Covid-19 vaccine, scammers have found a new opportunity to make money. One of the modalities that has been identified is the collection of money in exchange for making false reservations to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Sellers have also been identified who offer to send doses of the vaccine, to national or international destinations, in exchange for the payment of a deposit.

Preventive products

In addition to the Covid-19 vaccine, scammers are taking advantage of the need for protection against the virus. For this reason, they are contacting people offering them high-cost multivitamins to increase the immune system and be able to fight the virus. Among the products offered, vitamins of the B complex have been identified as well as prenatal preparations. As compensation for your purchase, they are offering gifts such as a supply of masks and hand sanitizers.

In both modalities, the scammers not only receive a payment in exchange for a product or service that you will not receive, but they also obtain your health insurance information with which they later commit other frauds. For this reason, it is important to review your explanation of benefits (EOB) and if you identify suspicious claims, you should report it immediately.

Tips to avoid Covid-19 fraud

  • Check the Department of Health website for up-to-date information on authorized vaccine distribution locations.
  • Check the FDA website for up-to-date information on vaccines that have been licensed for emergency use.
  • Consult with your primary care physician before administering any vaccine.
  • Do not share your personal or medical information with people who are not known and trusted medical professionals.

If you identify unknown claims in your explanation of benefits (EOB), you can refer the suspicious issue to the Audit and Investigation Office: (787) 277-6633 or fraude@ssspr.com