Scammers pretending to be with AdventHealth, offering fake tests, sheriff says

New phone scheme targets personal information

Scam callers are targeting senior citizens in Lapeer County. (WDIV)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a new phone scheme that involves callers pretending to be with AdventHealth offering to come to an individual’s home to administer a COVID-19 test.

In a news release sent Wednesday, the sheriff outlined the new scam circulating in the county. Residents have reported getting calls from someone claiming to be with AdventHealth, according to the sheriff. The caller is someone with a language barrier who then asks if the resident would like a nurse from AdventHealth to come to their home and test them for coronavirus.

The sheriff said AdventHealth is not offering a service like this in Flagler County and said that if you receive a phone call like this you should hang up immediately.

“It is really unfortunate but there are people out there who are trying to take advantage of this pandemic,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a news release. “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.”

According to the news release, if a stranger knocks on your door or someone dressed as a nurse and you are not expecting anyone, do not open your door. You can call the Sheriff’s Office and a deputy will respond to check on the individual.

Sheriff Staly released the following tips to help protect yourself from 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.

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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About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.