Whistleblower: Watch out for COVID-19 test result scams
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -
UPDATE: The North Dakota Department of Health says on Saturday morning they had a notification issue with the software program that issues COVID-19 test results. The department says some people who had previously tested negative for COVID-19 had been notified electronically again of their results. The department says the issue has been corrected and people who have not tested recently should disregard.
ORIGINAL: The scam is old, but the angle is new. Fraudsters using COVID-19 to scam people, and they’re falling for it at record numbers.
"I received a text that said, 'Please click the link below to view your COVID-19 test results,'" Nathan Pullen says. "'You will need to enter your date of birth to see your results.'"
Scammers claiming they have your COVID-19 test results, but really, they just want your information and money. The scary part is, Pullen says, these texts seem legitimate.
The Federal Trade Commission says they’ve received nearly 50,000 complaints since the pandemic started. Adding, scammers have taken over $74M.
“The weird thing is, I’ve been tested for COVID, four or five times,” Pullen says. “But I haven’t been tested in over two months. Red flags went off immediately.”
The red flags kept him from handing out his information.
"I remember when I was up at the Fargodome, one of the people from the U.S. Army, I think it was the National Guard," he says. "They said, 'We will call you with your results. We will not e-mail you. We will not text them to you.'"
But, Pullen says, these scammers got his mom.
“You could hear the frustration in her voice,” he says.
If you’re unsure whether the call or text is a scam, you should contact your testing provider directly. And as Pullen says, listen to your gut and don’t be afraid to call for help.
Something else to keep in mind, this is just one of several COVID-18 related scams out there. Keep your eyes open and you can report potential scams to the FTC.
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