Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams

Our Alaska Medicare Information Office has received reports from Medicare beneficiaries who received scam calls related to the $1,200 coronavirus economic impact payments. The telephone call may be a live person or an automated voice, claiming to be from Social Security, advising there is an issue with the direct deposit of their "stimulus check" or "stimulus payment." Usually the caller is trying to obtain personal information, such as a Social Security number or bank account information. There are different takes on this scam where the caller poses as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a Medicare agent.

Medicare, Social Security, and the IRS will not contact Medicare beneficiaries by telephone regarding direct deposit of the economic impact payments. If you receive a report about Medicare-related COVID-19 scams, please contact the Medicare Information Office at (907) 269-3680 or 1-800-478-6065, so the scams and fraud can be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Stay on the lookout for other scams and false information. This post from the Federal Trade Commission has useful tips for how to sort out what’s real and what’s not: Thinking critically about Coronavirus news and information.

With so much information coming out about COVID-19 and scams that can arise from it, here is a great three-step plan from the Federal Trade Commission to break down taking in information.

Overwhelmed with Coronavirus info? Ask yourself these questions: Who is the message from? What do they want you to do? What evidence supports the message? After you answer all 3 questions, does the fessage still seem accurate?