Ky Attorney General warns of new charity scams

Posted at 2:54 PM, Mar 25, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Attorney General Daniel Cameron is warning Kentuckians of new scams thought to be involving Medicaid and new charities due to COVID-19. Cameron shared ways to avoid becoming a victim of these scams.

“During this health crisis, we strongly encourage Kentuckians to thoroughly vet any charities that solicit donations for COVID-19 relief work to ensure donations will truly be used to help those in need,” said Attorney General Daniel Cameron. “We also urge Medicaid beneficiaries to be suspicious of anyone requesting personal information or payment in exchange for COVID-19 tests, as testing must be approved by a healthcare professional.”

Attorney General Cameron says scammers may target Kentuckians by posing as charities in need of funds to help aid those infected and affected by COVID-19, such as small businesses and COVID-19 patients. If you think you have received a scam associated with COVID-19, you may report it to the Attorney General's online scam reporting form or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257.

To ensure you are not effected by these scams, you should:

  • Refuse to accept requests from telemarketers that are trying to pressure you into giving to a nonprofit organization, charity, or fundraiser in relation to COVID-19. If you believe the organization is legitimate and would like to make a donation, thoroughly research the charity to ensure its credibility. Go online to the Office of the Attorney General's Tips on Charitable Giving for a list of questions to ask when someone is requesting funds.
  • Do not make a donation in the form of cash, gift cards, or money wires.
  • Some Kentucky charities must register and report all donations to the Office of the Attorney General. Visit charitable organizations and active charitable campaigns in Kentucky to view the list of these charities.
  • Donate to reliable charities that you already know of and can trust. Donate through that charity's website instead of through social media or a crowd-funding page.

Scammers may also target consumers through request of personal information or payment from Medicaid beneficiaries after being promised COVID-19 tests. These scams may happen by means of social media posts, phone calls, or even door-to-door visits.

Medicaid beneficiaries who are suspicious of fraud associated with COVID-19 should gather as much information as they can. Try to get their name and phone number, and contact the Attorney General's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Hotline at 1-877-ABUSE TIP (1-877-228-7384) to make a report.

In order to protect from COVID-19 Medicaid scams, you should:

  • Be aware of requests for Medicaid numbers that are unsolicited.
  • Be on guard and suspicious of any calls or visitors that are unanticipated and are offering supplies relating to COVID-19. Your information could be at risk of being used for fraud schemes if compromised.
  • Completely disregard any offers or advertisements for or relating to COVID-19 testing or treatments.
  • If you need COVID-19 testing, please contact your physician or other trusted healthcare provider. Visit the Commonwealth's COVID-19 website for information of when to seek care.