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COVID-19 text messaging scam reported | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

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RICHMOND, Ky. – The Madison County Health Department has become aware of a text message scam circulating in Madison County.


What You Need To Know

  • People receiving texts chosen at random
  • Message contains number leading to sales pitch
  • Method is not health department policy
  • People urged to report alleged scam

Bogus text messages are being sent to people telling them they have a positive test result for COVID-19.

The messages have been reported to come from 877-878-7608, but this could be easily changed by the scammers.

“We had a couple of people from the public to call our number and tell us about the text messages,” said Kelly McBride, public information officer for the Madison County Health Department. “That made us feel good that they felt like they could call our local number and talk to someone here to confirm whether it was true.”

McBride said those who have called the number in the fake text messages were given a sales pitch.

“I guess somebody’s trying to make some money,” she said. “I’m not really sure what their motive is behind it, but it’s very disturbing somebody would try to do that.”

People that cannot be reached by phone and have not set up their voicemail will receive the following official text message from the Madison County Health Department: “This is the Madison County Health Department trying to reach you regarding an urgent health matter. Please call our office at 859-623-7312 as soon as possible.”

The Madison County Health Department will never send test result information through text messaging and the contact tracing team will never ask for money, a Social Security number, bank account information, salary information or credit card numbers.

“I have no idea where it came from,” McBride said. “But we just wanted to make sure no one calls that number and that they know we would never send out test information, results or anything like that in a text message.”

McBride also said she does not know why certain people are receiving the message.

“I don’t know how many people they tried to contact,” she said. “But I’m just assuming that they’re probably just sending it out to all kinds of numbers no matter whether those people have been tested or not, but I can’t confirm that.”

Kentuckians should report scams to the Office of the Attorney General at 888-432-9257 

or file a complaint online. 

More information about the Madison County Health Department and COVID-19 is available at www.madisoncountyhealthdept.org, www.kycovid19.ky.gov and www.cdc.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

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