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COVID-19 SCAM ALERT

Staff Writer
Washington County News
Washington County News

HOLMES AND WASHINGTON COUNTY - Several ways scammers are attempting to capitalize on the COVID-19 virus, and we would like to pass along the following information so that you may protect yourself and your loved ones from potentially falling victim to one of these acts.

• DOOR-TO-DOOR TESTING

There are reports in other counties of individuals going door to door and claiming to offer COVID-19 testing. Some pose as healthcare workers, ranging from American Red Cross staff to Florida Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These scammers can be plain clothed or wearing masks, gloves, and/or scrubs and offer to do testing for a “nominal fee”. Please note that THERE ARE NO AGENCIES GOING DOOR TO DOOR WITH THIS SERVICE.

• BOGUS STIMULUS CHECK “RELEASES”

We’re getting ahead of this one: The proposed COVID-19 stimulus package has still not been approved, but in the event it is agreed upon and relief checks are sent out to American homes, please be aware that no agency will contact you for the purpose of “verifying” or “releasing” the funds. Don't trust anyone calling who claims otherwise.

• ROBO TEXTS, CALLS, AND EMAILS

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has advised that some citizens are receiving scam and hoax messages and robocalls that offer “free” home testing kits, promote bogus cures, and market health insurance. Some citizens are also receiving hoax text messages that give false information about government action such as mandatory quarantine. Beware of these opportunists who hope to prey on COVID-19 fears and incite panic. We urge you to look to only credible sources of information for updates on local, state, and federal orders.

Try some of these official sources for information:

Holmes County Sheriff’s Office: 850-547-3681

Washington County Sheriff’s Office: 850- 638-6111

For announcements:

Florida Department of Health: 24/7 call center: 1-866-779-6121

E-mail: COVID-19@flhealth.gov

COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard: https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1ZDlLZ_3_UcULuwG1QPKdwYCZnO1L0RA zp4FDu0-CISxmX7SaWpgbwIDY#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86

Executive Orders issued by Governor DeSantis: https://www.flgov.com/2020-executive-orders/

Florida Division of Emergency Management COVID-19 Updates: https://www.floridadisaster.org/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 information:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control:

https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control

World Health Organization COVID-19 Updates:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Arrival Restrictions:

https://www.dhs.gov/publication/notices-arrival-restrictions-coronavirus

USDA COVID-19 FAQs:

https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus

Summary of Families First Coronavirus Response Act:

http://flcities.com/docs/default-source/covid-resources/families-first-coronavirus-response-act-summary-3-20-20.pdf?sfvrsn=fd4fd5d5_0