AARP Alabama warns of robocalls, latest COVID-19 test scam

AARP Alabama is seeing scams "ramp up" in 2022.
AARP Alabama is seeing scams "ramp up" in 2022.(WSFA)
Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 5:17 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s a familiar sound. Your phone is ringing, but if that number isn’t familiar, it could be a robocall.

“It’s something that we saw less of in 2020, because of the pandemic,” said Jamie Harding with AARP Alabama.

That is because many call centers were shut down, but AARP Alabama says these scams are popping up again.

“They came back with a vengeance in 2021,” Harding said. “We’re starting to see them ramp up again.”

While older adults are a common target, anyone with a phone could be tricked into handing over personal information.

If you do not know the number, AARP recommends you do not pick up.

“Even if it looks like it’s coming from a legitimate company, know that even criminals can spoof the caller ID and make it look like it’s a legitimate call,” Harding added. “So, we want people to just let those calls go to voicemail.”

A newer scam to watch for involves the coronavirus.

With the announcement that private insurance companies must cover the cost of up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests a month, the public can expect some foul play.

“They’re in short supply right now, which means that they’re going to be a lot of fraudulent tests on the market,” Harding said.

Another reason you should buy test kits from reliable websites – Those authorized by the FDA.

If you pay out of pocket, expecting to be reimbursed for a fraudulent test, AARP says, “You’re going to be out that money.”

AARP tells us testing scams have been an issue since the pandemic began, and this is the latest variation.

Overall, If you are tricked by a scammer, you should contact the police to report it.

If you have any questions or concerns, AARP has a fraud helpline you can dial at 877-908-3360.

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