Leelanau residents are getting phone calls telling them they’re selected for free COVID-19 testing, asking them for personal information.
The caller ID reads as a Leelanau number and looks safe to answer, but it’s not, says County Administrator Chet Janik.
When the call is answered, a pre-recorded message plays.
“(It says) they have been selected by county officials for a free virus screen test, and then if you press the button, they ask you for personal information — name address and then there’s a small processing fee that goes along with their process, so they want a credit card,” Janik says.
It also asks for social security numbers.
He says the county is not asking anyone to participate in free testing and the call is a scam.
“So the message I have for individuals is if they get a call, if it sounds like a scam, it probably is a scam,” Janik says.
Local police have been notified, he says, but there’s not much they can do to trace the original number.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sent out a press release last week, notifying the state about an onslaught of scams related to COVID-19.
Last Thursday, her office reported that an Oakland County resident was contacted by a phone scammer who alluded they could give out COVID-19 test kits, but the person had to pre-pay for it.
“Pre-paying for products that never arrive is only one method scammers will use to rob people of their hard-earned money or to steal personal information from unsuspecting victims,” Nessel said in a statement. “We may start to see more scams related to COVID-19, and I urge Michiganders to remain vigilant. We must not fall victim to these predatory practices.”