“Beneficiaries should avoid any solicitation regarding a COVID-19 test kit by anyone other than their attending physician,” according to the release.
The scam involves direct calls to beneficiaries with an offer to ship or sell COVID-19 testing kits. The calls include requests for personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank or credit card information. Any unsolicited attempt to sell or send a COVID-19 testing kit should be immediately reported to this link.
If you are a Tricare beneficiary and feel you may have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, or traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, do not make an appointment or walk into their local military hospital or clinic.
Instead, remain home and contact your medical provider. You will be assessed and screened for potential or suspected exposure, and if necessary, an appointment with a physician will be arranged. Legitimate COVID-19 tests will be ordered by a physician after the assessment and screening.
Click here for everything you need to know about your Tricare benefits.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission issued a joint statement warning seven companies against attempting to sell fraudulent products that claim to prevent or treat COVID-19. While there may be no connection to scam testing kit calls, beneficiaries should be on alert for any unsolicited outreach involving claimed COVID-19 treatments.
Beneficiaries are reminded if they are called by anyone other than their attending physician, they should not provide any personal health or financial related information. Guidance for TRICARE beneficiaries related to COVID-19 can be found by visiting this link.
As of Wednesday, the most recently available figures show that DoD-affiliated COVID-19 cases total 435, including 227 service members, 81 civilians, 67 dependents and 40 contractors, 22 of whom are hospitalized. The numbers include one death, of a Crystal City, Virginia-based contractor on Saturday.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.