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OIG Warns of COVID-19 Fraud Schemes

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a fraud alert warning Medicare beneficiaries of potentially fraudulent schemes that take advantage of the fears surrounding the COVID-19 public health emergency. The OIG warns that fraudsters are targeting Medicare beneficiaries through telemarketing, social media and even in-person, door-to-door contact. According to the OIG, the fraudulent schemes often involve an offer of a COVID-19 test in exchange for an individual providing personal information.

The OIG provided the public several tips on identifying and avoiding fraudulent schemes:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal information, such as your Medicare number;

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited offers of COVID-19 tests or supplies;

  • Ignore offers on social media of COVID-19 tests or treatment; and

  • Only a physician or other qualified health care provider should recommend or approve requests for COVID-19 testing.

The OIG is also calling on the public to notify it of suspected fraud by contacting the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or

The OIG’s alert is a reminder to scrutinize requests for your personal information, especially where such requests are unsolicited or concern your health and do not come from a trusted health care provider.

Copyright © 2020 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 83


About this Author

Nathaniel Arden, Health Care and Intellectual Property Attorney, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Hartford, Connecticut

Nathaniel Arden is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Health Law Group. He advises hospitals, health systems, physician groups, community providers, and other health care entities on a variety of health law and business issues. His practice focuses on health care-related regulatory and transactional matters, as well as health care-related information technology issues. Nathaniel has an extensive background in the healthcare industry, and he worked at a large academic medical center prior to joining the firm.