Much like the other efforts you are taking to stay safe right now, there are simple ways to avoid fraud and scams. That starts with being informed and ensuring those who are vulnerable—like elderly family members or neighbors—know when a phone call, text message, email, or visit to the home may be suspicious.
Here are some tips to protect you and your loved ones against scams:
- Never share your personal, medical, or financial information, including Social Security, credit or bank card numbers, by email, text message, or over the phone with someone that you do not know.
- Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers or numbers that appear suspicious. Scammers will often try to get important information or immediate payment over the phone. Only share personal or payment information with people or companies you know. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money—this includes the IRS or departments of health.
- Be wary of links in text messages or emails. If a friend sends you a text or email with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they sent you the email and weren’t hacked.
- Always check a charity’s website or even call before donating.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), departments of health, and other government agencies will never send someone to your home without making an appointment.
- Always check your Health Plan Payment Summary (explanation of benefits) to see if there are any services that you do not recognize.
We know that these are uncertain times and want to make sure you stay safe. Check our COVID-19 page for more information about the virus, your benefits, and more. If you want to report a possible fraud or scam, contact our Special Investigations Unit (SIU) hotline at 888-4KO-FRAUD (888-456-3728) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.