On Tuesday, December 8, the County of Tulare broadcast an alert for Tulare County residents to be aware that scammers going door-to-door with fake COVID-19 tests have been reported in Tulare County. Fraudsters may be asking for credit card information or to pay for the fraudulent test out of pocket, in addition to other private information which then can be used for identity theft. Scammers also use social media, telemarketing calls, or text messages to gather this personal information.
A comprehensive list of verified Tulare County testing sites can be viewed by clicking here. COVID-19 testing is also free and available to anyone at our community testing locations in Dinuba, Porterville, and Tulare, open Wednesday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Appointments for testing can be made by phone at 1-888-634-1123 and online by clicking here. Those going to get tested for COVID-19 should wear a face mask or facial covering for protection. Fraudulent COVID-19 testing
Community members may view an interactive map of testing sites and view all confirmed testing sites, including free testing, mobile testing, and all health care provider locations. Verified County testing locations are safe, private, and never ask for out-of-pocket payments. Moreover, the County does not use door-to-door or in-home testing teams. Fraudulent COVID-19 testing
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG):
- Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
- Never give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to be on a door-to-door testing team or to anyone offering money related to COVID-19.
- Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official testing site. Fraudulent COVID-19 testing
- Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number or financial information or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test.
- Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal, medical, and financial information. Medicare does not call beneficiaries to offer COVID-19 products, services, or benefit review.
- Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in, text messages from unknown persons or entities offering COVID-19 information.
If you believe you are a victim of a COVID-19 related scam, call the HHS-OIG hotline at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477) and the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations at (559) 636-5410.
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