COVID-19 and Healthcare Fraud: What to Watch Out For

Posted on February 11, 2021

COVID-19 is the worst pandemic to hit the world in over 100 years, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. And while the arrival of a vaccine promises brighter days ahead, there is another challenge that must still be addressed: combating COVID-19 healthcare fraud.

Unfortunately, some criminals take advantage of public health crises like COVID-19 to defraud individuals, businesses, and the federal government. There have already been numerous attempts by fraudsters to use COVID-19 for financial gain, including phishing for personal data and unauthorized medical treatments. 

One way to prevent further victimization by COVID-19 is to report fraud. And while coming forward can be intimidating, an attorney can help you navigate the complex world of whistleblowing—from seeking compensation when applicable to helping protect yourself against retaliation.

If you think you may have witnessed COVID-19 healthcare fraud, complete our free, no-obligation case evaluation form and one of our lawyers will contact you.

COVID-19 Fraud Cases 

Fraud quickly followed the discovery of COVID-19, and it is likely to continue until the pandemic has abated. Some types of fraud to watch out for include:

  • Fake COVID-19 tests: At the beginning of the pandemic, the FBI published an online warning about fraudulent COVID-19 tests that still holds true. Beware of scammers who contact you offering COVID tests, requesting personal information such as your Medicare or Medicaid numbers. This information can be used to fraudulently claim federal healthcare benefits, while you receive nothing. Be aware that there are no legitimate sources soliciting patients to pay for coronavirus tests.
  • Fraudulent COVID-19 vaccines: Keep in mind that there are no waiting lists for COVID vaccines, so ignore any requests to get you to join one. These are probably phishing attempts. Also, if you are offered a vaccine, and it doesn’t seem to be your turn to get one, stay vigilant. A healthcare provider in the New York area has been accused of fraudulently securing and distributing a COVID vaccine. Legitimate vaccines will be prescribed in the order directed by government agencies.
  • Pharmaceutical scams: Some fraudsters exploit healthcare system loopholes that are meant to fight the coronavirus, including two pharmacies that were recently charged in a scheme to defraud Medicare. The pharmacies allegedly submitted fraudulent claims for cancer drugs through pipelines created under the COVID-19 emergency codes, resulting in $30 million in fraudulent charges—all coming out of taxpayers’ money.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) fraud: PPE is vital for fighting the coronavirus. Unfortunately, some have taken advantage of the situation by hoarding PPE and other supplies. The U.S. Department of Justice has reported multiple incidents, including one where 192,000 N95 respirator masks, 130,000 surgical masks, 598,000 medical gloves, and other essential items were hoarded to sell to the medical industry at a profit.

Contact the Whistleblower Attorneys

If you have witnessed or suspect COVID-19 fraud, we can help. We know that coming forward isn’t easy, and that you may be fearful of losing your job or suffering other repercussions. That’s why you need the Whistleblower Attorneys on your side. 

We have more than 30 years of experience and over 700 lawyers on staff, providing us with the expertise and resources to protect whistleblowers and hold those that perpetrate COVID-19 fraud accountable for their actions. 

Everything is harder during a pandemic, including reporting fraud. But if you are considering blowing the whistle on COVID-19 fraud, you can leave some of the hard work to us. We will investigate your case and help you secure compensation if it’s available.

To get started, fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form and one of our lawyers will confidentially review your case and contact you directly.