Federal agencies and the City of Cheyenne are warning people to be on the lookout for scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Investigations recently issued a warning about con artists offering supposed coronavirus test kits to people on the Medicare program. The victims were being targeted through text messages, telemarketing, social media, and even door-to-door visits.

The scammers were collecting personal information which could then be used to bill federal health programs. On top of that some of the "test kits" are not approved by any medical authorities and may be misleading or harmful to people using them.

The Federal Communications Commission [FCC] is advising people to take the following steps to protect themselves from coronavirus cons and scams in general:

  • "Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating."
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