VIENNA — Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman is alerting county residents to a scam currently being used to unlawfully take money from people by saying they have to pay for a COVID-19 …
VIENNA — Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman is alerting county residents to a scam currently being used to unlawfully take money from people by saying they have to pay for a COVID-19 coronavirus test as they may have been infected. This is false—it’s a scam.
The Phelps-Maries Health Department said it does not conduct coronavirus tests. When the health department contacts persons who may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, they inform the persons where they can get tested if they become symptomatic. The health department certainly does not ask for money to pay for a test, a health department spokesperson told the Maries County Advocate.
Heitman said someone has reported receiving a scam phone call saying they were informed they had been in direct contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. The scam caller then stated they will send the person an emergency test kit and packaging for the lab testing for a one time fee of $50. They then stated if the person does not pay and get the test they will be fined.
Heitman said none of this is true.
The health department will contact persons who may have been exposed and request they quarantine themselves. The health department does not do coronavirus testing but refers persons to testing sites in the area. If there is a close exposure, the health department monitors these individuals with frequent phone calls to check for symptoms. Testing is done for people who have symptoms, some who are high risk if they contract the virus, and if required by an employer. Most major health insurance companies pay for the testing.
Heitman said as a general rule, never pay a fee or fine you aren’t 100percent sure about over the phone. This is how scammers operate.