CHICO — Over the last four months, a number of scams related to COVID-19 have popped up locally and nationally.
Most recently, this newspaper wrote about a number of scams related to the pandemic that the Butte County District Attorney’s office spotlighted.
Nearly all of them were in the form of an email, some with a link containing malware or other software that could harm a computer. Some of them appeared to be from health agencies such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization, or a fake organization seeking donations for doctors and patients affected by the virus.
Now at the local level, Passages, an organization through Chico State which provides services and outreach to seniors, has provided another list of scams that appear to be targeting that specific demographic. Among the virus-related scams listed are:
- Scammers are approaching residents of senior housing and assisted living facilities about “opportunities” for COVID-19 testing;
- Beneficiaries are receiving robocalls about “special virus kits” and being asked for their Medicare number to send a “free” test;
- Health care agencies are receiving scam emails offering COVID-19 testing services that can be ordered through a telehealth provider;
- Online services offer a free vaccine in exchange for Medicare number.
It may be difficult to discern scams from legitimate businesses, however, if you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from a source you don’t recognize, always proceed with caution.
Scam of the Week runs every Tuesday. If someone has tried to scam you, email email@example.com.
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