What started as a local warning last week has now become a statewide warning.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert about new scams taking advantage of COVID-19 pandemic fears.
“If you receive an unsolicited text message, email, phone call or any other communication claiming a cash payment, government benefit or other COVID-19 related offer, be very suspicious,” she said, in a statement. "Guard your personal and financial information and report scams to my office.”
Moody said her office received one complaint that explained how a 90-year-old woman was asked for her Medicare number so she could receive a free COVID-19 testing kit. The scammer falsely claimed the offer was mandated by President Trump and Vice President Pence.
There were other reports of text messages asking people to click on a link to claim a $1,000 payment for a COVID-19 federal stimulus payment, but the suspicious link could have contained malware, officials said.
Consumers are being advised to ignore any unsolicited messages.
Sheriffs in Broward and Palm Beach counties issued alerts last week about people dressed in white lab coats and masks impersonating Centers for Disease Control and Prevention workers.
The scammers were reportedly going door-to-door offering free COVID-19 tests. The CDC is not sending anyone to individual homes to test for COVID-19. If a CDC impersonator shows up at your door, do not let them in and call 911, officials urge.
To report a scam or price gouging, contact Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline by calling 866-966-7226 or going online to MyFloridaLegal.com.
[email protected] or 954-356-4303 or Twitter @WayneRoustan
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