The F.B.I. has issued a warning about scammers who promote fraudulent Covid-19 antibody checks as method to get hold of private data that can be utilized for id theft or medical insurance coverage fraud.
The warning, issued Friday, is the most recent in a sequence of alerts from the federal authorities about fraudulent exploitation of the coronavirus pandemic.
Scammers are advertising the fake or unapproved tests — which may present false outcomes — on-line, via social media or e mail, or in particular person or over the telephone, the F.B.I. stated. They may declare that the checks had been authorised by the Meals and Drug Administration, in addition to promote free Covid-19 antibody checks or present incentives for testing.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation recommends that these seeking to take an antibody check — which is used to find out whether or not an individual has had Covid-19 — seek the advice of a list of tests and testing corporations that the Meals and Drug Administration has authorised. These checks have been evaluated in a examine carried out on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being’s most cancers institute or by one other F.D.A. designated authorities company.
Individuals must also seek the advice of with their main care doctor earlier than taking any Covid-19 antibody check at house, the F.B.I. says. It additionally warned towards sharing private or well being data with anybody who just isn’t a “recognized and trusted medical skilled,” in addition to checking medical payments for suspicious claims and reporting these claims to medical health insurance suppliers.
Among the many strategies fraudulent entrepreneurs use to acquire essential private data is asking folks and telling them that they’re working with the federal government or that authorities officers are requiring them to take a Covid-19 antibody check. They often additionally supply to carry out the check for money.
The aim is to hunt private information, like an individual’s identify, date of delivery, Social Safety quantity, Medicare and medical health insurance data. This will later be used for id theft or medical insurance coverage fraud.
The fraudulent checks, the authorities say, are simply one other method for scammers to capitalize on folks’s fear and uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic.
Last Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission warned of scammers pretending to be contact tracers. In early June, the Inner Income Service alerted folks about fraud surrounding government stimulus coronavirus funds.
Again in April, the F.B.I. issued a similar warning associated to Covid-19 testing and scammers seeking to promote false coronavirus cures, therapies and vaccines. Federal officers additionally warned final week about faux playing cards that had been being offered that claimed to exempt folks from sporting face masks.