The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) once again is reminding older adults and their caregivers to be wary of potential Medicare fraud and abuse schemes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the pandemic began spreading across the United States, scammers have been working nonstop to try to trick older adults and to take their money. Scammers have been targeting seniors to sell them COVID-19 testing kits, sell them so-called miracle cures, and to issue false alerts that their Social Security benefits have been suspended. All of these are scams.

If you think you need a COVID-19 test, you should contact your trusted family physician.

There are no over-the-counter COVID tests available yet. There are no cures or approved vaccines for the virus yet. If you have questions about claims such as these, call your primary care physician or local health department.

Also, the pandemic is causing NO interruption in Social Security payments.

These are a sampling of the scams running rampant since the COVID-19 pandemic. The bottom line remains the same: Social Security, Medicare and the IRS will NOT call you asking for your personal numbers, your credit card or your bank account information. This has not and will not change.

The best place to get medical advice is your primary or trusted specialty physician. As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

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