BRIDGEWATER — Town Manager Michael Dutton, Health Agent Eric Badger and Police Chief Christopher Delmonte would like to remind residents to be vigilant of potential scams around COVID-19, like requesting donations or selling products claiming to cure, prevent or detect the virus.
On Wednesday, March 18, the Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol (MA SMP) Program warned seniors of fraudulent offers for COVID-19 testing. Bridgewater officials urge the public to never accept any form of testing from anyone other than a treating, licensed physician.
“It’s not unusual to see scammers taking advantage of vulnerable people during uncertain times,” said Chief Delmonte. “Like most scams, these individuals are asking for personal information or forms of payment. We want to reiterate how important it is to put proper research into offers that are too good to be true and pay attention to official information regarding COVID-19.”
Residents should not partake in any COVID-19 testing from door-to-door solicitors, people who approach them at grocery stores or other community venues, solicitors who call requesting financial information in return for a test or mail COVID-19 test offerings.
Chief Delmonte warns that residents should NEVER give personal information, medicare numbers, money or home access to people soliciting tests. If a testing kit is mailed to you, you should not accept the test. Return the test to the sender and alert local authorities immediately.
Additionally, the Massachusetts’s Attorney General’s Office provides these tips for residents to protect themselves from other scams and frauds:
- Watch out for high-priced or low-quality products; report any retailers that inflate prices on products like hand sanitizer and face masks.
- Beware of false and misleading information being spread online. Use reputable sources such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
- Keep an eye out for unauthorized or fraudulent charities or solicitations. Before donating to a coronavirus charity, make sure the charity is legitimate.
If anyone has any questions or feels that they have been victimized, they are encouraged to call Bridgewater Police at 508-697-6118.