Seniors are being widely pitched with COVID-19 insurance scams trying to defraud their Medicare accounts and steal their identities, warns the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud.

Fraudsters are offering “free” testing kits, vaccines and supplies, promising Medicare will pay. Medicare and other scams are rapidly rising against America’s 52 million seniors, who are among the largest targets of COVID-19 hoaxes.

Phishing emails, robocalls, and door-to-door pitchmen are aimed at seniors. Even pop-up street testing sites, visits to senior centers for “tests” and bogus hotlines have been reported, the New York Alliance said in a prepared statement.

Sign Up for Mahopac Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

The sham insurance deals typically urge seniors to reveal their Medicare number, and often other sensitive personal data such as Social Security number and credit card information.

False claims can drain a senior’s Medicare account limits when they may need urgent health coverage the most. Swindlers also can steal a senior’s financial identity—draining their savings and ruining their credit.

Con artists try to exploit the seniors’ fear of infection as an older age group, and the perception that seniors are overly trusting.

Swindlers also pitch bogus non-Medicare insurance deals to seniors. They seek to exploit confusion about what insurance actually covers.

Six ways to protect yourself

• Ignore unsolicited requests for your Medicare, credit card or other personal information from strangers.

• Do not respond to robocalls, texts, emails from strangers, or door-to-door solicitors. Deal only with sources you know and trust.

• “Free” COVID-19 tests, vaccines, medicines or treatments are shams. Ignore them.

• Consult a trusted doctor or other health providers to check your medical status, order a COVID-19 test… and learn the facts.

• Never click on links from unknown sources. Clicking may download malware.

• If you suspect COVID-19 fraud, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline 866-720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov

Article courtesy of the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud

To our Beloved Community: During this crisis, we can’t continue to operate entirely as we have been doing when we are only earning a fraction of our previous advertising revenue and still have to pay 100 percent of our payroll. Without that payroll, we would be unable to serve the community with the news and important information you have come to expect. If you feel that we’ve made a positive difference in your town, we ask that you send us a contribution to keep your community newspaper alive and strong by pressing on our PayPal button HERE