The Lowell General Hospital is urging members of the public to be vigilant following a potential phone scam that is selling medical test kits to people over 60 from a phone number appearing to come from Lowell General Hospital.
The hospital is asking everyone not to share personal information with anyone calling unsolicited to sell a product or service on behalf of Lowell General Hospital. “We ask our community to share this information with older family and neighbors who are the most vulnerable to these scams” LGH posted on the hospital’s official Facebook page.
Lowell police shared the same message on the Lowell PD Facebook page in a bid to alert the residents about the scam. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there have been increased scams capitalizing on people’s fear of Coronavirus.
The Federal Trade Commission listed the scams that are spreading across the country as the pandemic continues to ravage economies globally. Among them included fake charities, fake online sellers, robocalls claiming to sell coronavirus treatments, as well as fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal information.
Some scammers use names that sound a lot like the names of real organizations such as the case of Lowell General Hospital. This is one reason it pays to do some research before making any payment or giving out any personal information. “Online sellers claiming they have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies. You place an order, but you never get your shipment. Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name — including scammers,” the FTC stated.
A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless a company has your written permission to call you that way. To get your permission, the company has to be clear it’s asking to call you with robocalls, and it can’t make you agree to the calls to get a product or service. If you give permission, you have the right to change your mind later.
The best way to deal with robocalls is to hang up without pressing any numbers. While the recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
A few types of robocalls are allowed under FTC rules without your permission, like political calls about candidates running for office or legitimate charities asking for donations.