COVID aid and vaccine scams
Federal COVID-19 stimulus money is for people to spend as the choose to help boost the economy and not for long-term care facilities or related to Medicaid benefits.
“Stimulus money belongs to the recipient and should not go to the nursing home or other facility where they are staying,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. “While my office has not received complaints about this, there have been complaints in other states. Mississippians should know stimulus checks do not count as income and should not be given to facilities to pay for services.”
Long-term care residents should decide for themselves, or with a trusted family member, how to spend their stimulus money. The money also does not change what Medical Assistance a person may receive based on income.
The Mississippi Insurance Department (MID) also warns that scammers are trying to cash in on COVID-19 vaccines, citing these signs of fraud:
· You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.
· You are asked to pay to put your name on a list to receive the vaccine or asked to pay to get early access to the vaccine.
· You receive unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages. Scammers may pretend to be vaccine centers or insurance companies to steal your information.
· You are asked to visit a fake vaccine website. Scammers use phony sites to steal your information and money.
When in doubt about anything vaccine-related, call your state or local health department. If you have a COVID-19 or insurance-related question or complaint, call the Mississippi Insurance Department Consumer Services division at 601-359-2453 or email email@example.com.