Forum, March 28: Beware of COVID-19 scams

Published: 3/27/2020 10:00:19 PM
Modified: 3/27/2020 10:00:10 PM
Beware of COVID-19 scams

Though this is a time when we as a community and nation should be positively supporting each other in the face of a pandemic, the Senior Medicare Patrol Research Center has alerted us to a COVID-19 fraud that is occurring across the nation. Scammers are targeting older adults and those with serious long-term health conditions who appear to have a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 and are attempting to bill Medicare for sham tests or treatments related to the coronavirus. Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health officials may contact you if they believe you may have been exposed to the virus, they will not ask you for insurance or financial information. What can you do to stop COVID-19 fraud?

■ Do not give out your Medicare number to anyone other than your doctor or other health care provider.

■ Never provide your Medicare number to anyone who contacts you through unsolicited calls, texts or emails.

■ Be cautious of anyone coming to your door offering free coronavirus testing, treatments or supplies.

■ Be cautious when purchasing medical supplies from unverified sources, including online advertisements and email or phone solicitations.

■ Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting cures for COVID-19, they are most likely a scam. There is no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19.

■ Do not fall for scare tactics or time-sensitive offers.

If you have questions about how Medicare covers costs related to COVID-19 or concerns about being scammed, please contact your local ServiceLink office. The Lebanon number is 603-448-1558.



The writer is an information and referral specialist with Grafton County ServiceLink.

The far-reaching effects of the coronavirus crisis

Restaurants have been hard hit, and that ripples outward.

I just got home from doing deliveries to the few remaining stores that are still buying. Far fewer deliveries but still just as much distance to cover, so same time and fuel costs to get my farm’s products to customers.

Roads had very little traffic. Almost nobody out and about in towns. Parking lots empty. All restaurants are closed, as well as some stores. That’s who we supply mostly — 90% of our sales have evaporated.

Income down to 10% but expenses are almost the same. Tax man, lease company, bank, fuel, insurance, phone, electric and other suppliers still all have to get paid, and most have no relationship to sales volume so the overhead stays high while sales plummet.

No money. No such thing as unemployment for farmers because we still have to do the work — so we’re not unemployed, we just don’t get paid.

It is going to be an interesting time for a lot of businesses, restaurants, small farms, etc.


West Topsham

Emergency aid effort must be focused on workers

I urge Sen. Maggie Hassan, Rep. Annie Kuster and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen  to assure any aid package for the COVID-19 crisis be worker-focused.

Retail and food service workers live paycheck to paycheck, and they are already being laid off in droves. Others, such as grocery cashiers and cooks in take-out restaurants, are considered essential, but they are not even making a living wage.

All workers need relief.

Any worker considered essential should receive hazard pay. Anyone not able to work should receive immediate assistance.

Any funds given to companies must be limited to payroll and keeping the lights on — no corporate profits, no stock buybacks, no executive compensation. This unprecedented crisis requires bold, progressive solutions.



Grateful for the dedicated professionals in our towns

Last Saturday, we realized that a sweeping fire was consuming our garage, which stands about 8 feet from our home. We placed the 911 call and waited, watching in horror as the fire moved to the side of the house. Thankfully, fire trucks from Hartford, Lebanon and other nearby towns arrived on the scene just then and quickly got to work.

In the end, there was only minor exterior damage to the house and the fire did not spread.

Almost 30 years ago we chose to move to Hartford to raise our kids and put down roots. We love our community and the greater Upper Valley. We were astounded by how many firefighters, trucks, police and others came quickly to our rescue and we are unbelievably grateful to them. We are truly blessed to have these dedicated professionals in our towns and want to publicly thank all of them.


White River Junction

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