Officials urge residents to beware of COVID-19-related scams

The Department of Health and Human Services says scammers are making calls, sending text messages, and going door to door to try to trick people into giving away personal information.

News 12 Staff

Feb 10, 2021, 11:01 PM

Updated 1,164 days ago

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says scammers are making calls, sending text messages, and going door to door to try to trick people into giving away personal information.
The agency says the scammer could offer COVID-19 tests or treatments in exchange for personal information.
In addition, officials say there is also unemployment fraud being perpetrated.
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News 12 spoke with a mother and daughter from North Massapequa who say they both got letters in the mail telling them they qualified for pandemic unemployment benefits – even though they never applied.
Samantha Turetsky and her mother say they filed complaints with the Department of Labor and found out the scammer used their driver’s licenses to get unemployment benefits.
"It's really scary to know that someone has your driver's license with your address on it, your personal information, and someone can just do terrible things with it. But then in the time that we're living in, it's really sad people are doing this because people really need this money right now," says Turetsky.
The Turetskys say they’re still trying get things sorted out with the Department of Labor, the IRS and a number of other agencies.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas says her office is there to help for those who may have fallen victim to a COVID-19 scam. She says victims will get a letter from the DA’s office that can be used when talking to the Department of Labor and the IRS.
The DA’s office says there have been 1,200 cases of unemployment fraud in the county since the start of the pandemic. The Labor Department says it has found more than 425,000 cases across the state.
Singas is asking anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of this pandemic unemployment benefit scheme to go to the DA's website and file a complaint online.
Anyone without access to a computer can contact their office at 516-571-3383.



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