Insurer urges members to be wary of unsolicited phone calls, emails regarding coronavirus testing kits and vaccinations
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee warns members that scammers are taking advantage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to be alert of potential scam activity.
Reported scams include unsolicited phone calls that could be an attempt to fraudulently gain personal information. BlueCross is urging members and customers not to give personal information to these callers.
“We want to advise all of our members to be wary of phone calls or emails asking for their health plan and personal information for coronavirus testing kits and vaccinations,” said Julie Boerger, vice president and chief compliance officer. “BlueCross will not call you to schedule testing or vaccinations for the coronavirus – and if you receive a call, it’s a scam.”
According to a Fraud Alert issued by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, there has been an increase in reports of fraudulent schemes related to the coronavirus. Examples of possible scams include:
- Phone calls asking members for their subscriber ID/bank account information for free testing and/or services to cure or prevent coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Door-to-door solicitation for coronavirus testing and prescribing products to cure or prevent COVID-19
- Bogus advertisements for vaccinations or medications to treat COVID-19
- Phishing emails from impersonators of the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) to solicit personal information
- Advertisements offering health products such as teas, supplements or oils that are ineffective against COVID-19
As of March 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for COVID-19 testing at home.
BlueCross has shared this alert on our COVID-19 resource website, BCBSTupdates.com. Anyone receiving a suspicious call should report it to the BlueCross Fraud Unit at 1-888-343-4221.
Members may visit cdc.gov or tn.gov/health for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and is celebrating its 75th anniversary of bringing peace of mind to its members and local communities. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at bcbstnews.com.