LOUISVILLE, Ky. – U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman joined U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky Rob Duncan and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to release a joint public service announcement (PSA) regarding fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites.
The 60-second PSA alerts Kentuckians to the dangers of fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites and urges them to work with a licensed healthcare provider if they experience COVID-19 symptoms. The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 website, kycovid19.ky.gov, contains guidance on when to seek care for COVID-19 symptoms.
Scammers may use fraudulent testing sites to obtain personal information and payment from patients, often without fully processing the tests or providing patients with the results.
“Thieves using the cover of this health threat to prey on Kentuckians would be well-advised to avoid the Commonwealth as arrest and prosecution await you here,” said U.S. Attorney Coleman. “Please assist law enforcement by reviewing these indicators of fraud, use good common sense, and report any concerns as quickly as possible.”
“Information regarding the availability of COVID-19 testing is rapidly changing to keep pace with demand, and we want to arm Kentuckians with tips and information on how to avoid fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Just a few weeks ago, our office opened an investigation into pop-up COVID-19 testing sites in Louisville after learning they were engaging in questionable practices, and we’re prepared to go after any testing site that seeks to take advantage of Kentuckians during the pandemic.”
“We want Kentuckians who need COVID-19 testing to get it, but we are encouraging Kentuckians to follow the direction of state and local health departments, including where to seek legitimate testing,” said U.S. Attorney Duncan. “Kentuckians should be aware that fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites are appearing across the Commonwealth, but they should rest assured that law enforcement is aware of this risk, proactively monitoring the situation, and pursuing criminals who are trying to take advantage of this extraordinary situation.
The following tips should be used to avoid fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites:
· Contact a trusted, licensed healthcare provider if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and believe you need to be tested.
· Avoid any testing site that requires up-front payments or payments in cash only.
· Contact your local health department to confirm the validity of a testing site.
Attorney General Cameron, U.S. Attorney Duncan, and U.S. Attorney Coleman recently partnered with the FBI to launch the Kentucky Coronavirus Fraud Task Force. The mission of the task force is to identify, investigate, and prosecute fraud related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic impacting Kentuckians.
If you believe you are a victim of a COVID-19 scam, report it immediately to the Attorney General’s Office by visiting ag.ky.gov/scams or by calling 1-888-432-9257.