January 11th, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine Scams are Already Here
As COVID-19 vaccines are getting rolled out in Illinois, scammers are already gearing up to try another new scam involving this vaccine. As of today, only two vaccines Pfizer/Bio Tech and Moderna have been approved for Emergency Use Authorization from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Scammers are calling consumers and offering them to "jump the line" for getting the vaccine, if they pay them money out of of pocket for their spot.

You can read the whole article from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) here for more information. Below is a flyer from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that can be distributed about how to avoid any COVID-19 vaccine Scams or you can download it here as well.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a COVID-19 vaccine scam or any other type of Medicare fraud, please reach out to the Illinois SMP at (800) 699-1463.
COVID-19 Stimulus Checks Intended for Beneficiaries not the Nursing Homes they Reside In
During the first round of stimulus checks, some nursing home residents, particularly those on Medicaid, had nursing homes try to take their stimulus checks. That is illegal and over the summer those checks were returned to their rightful owners.

Now that the second round of those stimulus checks are being sent out (for most people who qualify, this is the $600), those checks intended for the nursing home resident, not the nursing home itself! 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has more information on this here.

If you or someone you know has a been a victim of a possible COVID-19 scam or any other possible Medicare Fraud, please call the Illinois SMP Hotline at (800)699-9043.
Have a safe and healthy week!

Travis Trumitch
travis.trumitch@ageoptions.org
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This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0036, 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.
The Illinois SMP at AgeOptions partners with agencies across the state to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area and visit our website to sign up for our Fraud Alert email list.