Madison Co. officials warn public of COVID-19 scam

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 10:38 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) – A scam alert is being issued out of Madison County, where officials say that residents are getting text messages claiming to be from the health department.

Health officials say if you receive a text saying you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 from the Madison County Health Department, don’t respond. Department officials say that’s not how they operate.

“The health department will never send test results via a text message to anyone,” says Kelley McBride, with the Madison County Health Department. “If the health department can’t reach someone by phone and there is no voicemail set up for that recipient, the health department will send a text message. It will be very specific identifying us as the Madison County Health Department and that we are trying to reach you regarding an urgent health matter and to please call our local health number as soon as possible.”

Citizens reached out to inform the department about the scam. They found out that if you call the number in the text you’ll connect with someone trying to give a sales pitch.

McBride says it’s disappointing to know someone is trying to exploit the work in testing and contact tracing that the department is providing.

“It is frustrating and there have always been and there always will be those people who try to take advantage of a situation, even a global pandemic,” says McBride. “We just have to keep putting out our positive message and giving the true resources that people can trust.”

McBride says that if you receive any texts claiming to be from the health department asking for personal information, like social security numbers, address, or credit card information that should be a red flag and you should report that to the office of the Kentucky Attorney General.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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