7 On Your Side: Tips to avoid scams amid end of COVID emergency

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Friday, May 12, 2023
Tips to avoid scams amid end of COVID emergency
The COVID public health emergency is officially over but now scammers are preying on consumers with all sorts of cons related to the many changes.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The coronavirus public health emergency is officially over as of Friday, but now scammers are preying on consumers with all sorts of cons related to the many changes in COVID care.

7 On Your Side has the warning to be on high alert and the red flags to watch out for.

Medicare and Medicaid recipient Joyce Porter said she recently got a random call from someone trying to scam her.

The Bed-Stuy senior is a prime target because she has both Medicaid and Medicare -- but she sniffed out the ruse.

"I said I don't conduct business like this over the phone," Porter said.

RELATED | COVID-19 emergency ending: 7 On Your Side explains what it means for you

The end of the health emergency on May 12 has created a sharp uptick on reported schemes.

Con artists are capitalizing on changes to getting tested, qualifying for care and reenrolling in Medicaid, which has left consumers very vulnerable to volunteering information.

Maria Alvarez, the Executive Director of NY Statewide Senior Action Council, is cautioning consumers that scammers could be after their age, residency, bank accounts and more.

She is cautioning consumers to not give out your Medicare number to anyone other than your doctor, health care provider, or other trusted representative. Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments and check your Explanation of Benefits and bill carefully.

Look for errors of claims for products or services that weren't received. That will be a sign someone stole your medical information and is using your identity to make false claims -- and you could be on the hook for thousands.

Scammers are also going door to door so beware of solicitors knocking.

They could either be trying to sell you or give you test kits or provide free vaccines or maybe conduct a survey.

No matter what, they are either trying to get your Medicare number or personal information to steal from you, so don't share anything and if you're suspicious, report it.

ALSO READ | 7 On Your Side: Video shows candy kids pulling off newest scam

Two teens selling candy and asking for donations via Venmo or Zelle are accused of draining a victim's bank account in NYC. Nina Pineda has 7 On Your Side.



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