Flagler County warns of COVID-19 phone scam making rounds

Fake health officials using phone scam to steal personal information from Michigan residents
Fake health officials using phone scam to steal personal information from Michigan residents

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has received calls from residents who are reporting a new scam related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents said that the caller states that they are calling from AdventHealth. The caller is someone with a language barrier who then asks if they would like a nurse from AdventHealth to come to their home and test them for COVID-19.

AdventHealth is not offering a service like this in Flagler County, and if you receive a phone call like this, you should hang up immediately, deputies warned.

“It is really unfortunate but there are people out there who are trying to take advantage of this pandemic,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “If you receive a phone call from AdventHealth or someone offering to come to your home and test you for COVID-19, I urge you to hang up. Only get your information regarding COVID-19 from credible and reliable sources like the Center for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health. Do not give out personal information over the phone.”

If a stranger knocks on your door -- or someone dressed like a nurse -- and you are not expecting anyone, do not open your door.

Call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 386-313-4911 and let a deputy check the visitor out.

Follow these tips to help you protect yourself from scams, including COVID-19 scams:

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message or email that you are unsure of.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has a COVID-19 hotline and email address that can be used to report frauds or scams from your home. To report suspicious coronavirus frauds or scams, call 1-866-720-5721 or email disaster@leo.gov. For more information, visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

COVID-19 health related questions or concerns should be directed to your regular healthcare provider or the Florida Health hotline at 866-779-6121.

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