Oneida County Health Department, Sheriff’s Office warn of scam COVID-19 calls
For the Tomahawk Leader
ONEIDA COUNTY – The Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office issued a release on Thursday, Oct. 8 warning of fraudulent calls being made by “certain bad actors” claiming to be OCHD employees conducting COVID-19 contact tracing.
The release noted the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the county and the increased need for local contract tracing are being taken advantage of by scammers.
The release also provided tips to avoid falling victim to such scams.
“Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers,” the release stated. “Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number, financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test. If you are called by a contact tracer and are unsure if they are legitimate, you can call the Oneida County Health Department at 715-369-6111 to verify that they are actually working in a professional capacity with OCHD.”
The release said that OCHD will not call to talk about the Nov. 3 election or find out which candidate you are voting for, and will not call, unsolicited, advising not to get a flu shot.
“Although there may be some bad actors making phone calls impersonating OCHD, there are contact tracers making calls to obtain important information,” the release said. “Through the use of contact tracing, OCHD is able to notify individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or other communicable diseases. Without cooperation from the community, contact tracing cannot be successful and notifications can’t be made.”
Those who may release information before realizing the call is fraudulent are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 715-361-5100.
“If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477),” the release said.