Be alert for COVID-19 scams
Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse is warning residents about a scam that has surfaced in Jackson County regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Sheriff Morse reports that a few county residents have received COVID-19 scam robocalls. The scammers claim the individual being called needs to call a particular phone number about their COVID-19 test results.
“These scam calls play on the fears of individuals with the recent pandemic. Scammers phish for personal information including financial information,” said Sheriff Morse. “Do not fall prey to these scammers. Your local health department or your primary care physician will contact you directly by phone with results from any COVID-19 testing. Notifications will not be given via text messages or email.”
Sheriff Morse said it’s important for the public to be “alert and vigilant” during this time.
“Scammers typically will play on the fears of individuals in order to acquire your personal information for the purpose of committing theft. Don’t take the bait,” he said.
Some other COVID-19 scams include human contact tracing scams. These scams occur when the scammer contacts an unsuspecting person either through the internet or by phone. The scammer will tell the victim that they have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms and will require further personal information from them, Morse said.
Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you want to donate to any organization, do your homework first and don’t rush into making a donation, Morse said.
“If anyone asks for a donation in cash, gift card or wire transfer, don’t do it,” he said.
Residents also need to beware of emails from scammers pretending to be agents from Centers for Disease Control or other public organizations. No legitimate medical provider will ask for sensitive information through email. Beware of calls or emails from those claiming to be from the U.S. Treasury offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information.
Also, there have been scams for expedited stimulus checks and phony business loan sites. Another scam that has occurred across the country is scammers claiming to be selling hard to get medical supplies. The buyer sends payment and never receives the product.
There are also scammers who claim to be medical personnel who are demanding payment for testing and for treatment that a family member has received.
“Scammers are nothing more than thieves who prey on the unsuspecting and vulnerable,” Morse said. “Don’t become the next victim. Report scams to your law enforcement agency.”