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Scammers target CSRA homes: Beware of fake COVID-19 tests

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 12:03 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It started out as a trespassing call at Maxwell House Apartments, but investigators say it was scammers on the property, taking blood samples and your personal information.

“They had the little blood tubes with them, and I believe someone on scene indicated to the deputy that -- that was something they had either requested or something that they had done,” District Attorney Natalie Paine said.

The District Attorney’s Office of Augusta believes the people who came by the apartments, are connected to a larger Medicare scam, and it’s the first time investigators have seen a COVID-19 scheme like this.

Here’s how it works:

The scammers come up to your home, asking if you want to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies, or if you want to take a cancer gene test.

Then, officials say, they take your personal information like your Medicaid number.

Plus – they swab your mouth or even draw your blood.

“People should know that they often do not ever perform the test,” Paine said.

According to the C.A.V.E Task Force, the tests never make it to a legitimate lab. But somehow, your insurance can get billed and you might not be able to get a real test later.

“You could potentially preclude yourself from being able to receive that service from a legitimate doctor because of this scam,” Paine explained.

The District Attorney’s Office assures that legitimate health care workers will never come straight to your door. And even if they provide badges that seem real, that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate either.

"No, really I didn't know they could make fake ID's like that."

And Samanda Daniels, a neighbor at Maxwell House Apartments has some choice words for scammers coming by her neck of the woods and messing with her neighbors.

“You all need to stop all this mess,” she said. “Scammers do not come to Maxwell House anymore, because I will catch you, and I will get you myself and bring you down there to Roundtree.”

So, scammers beware because you don’t want to mess with Sheriff Roundtree, or Daniels either.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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