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Consumer Advisory:

Beware of COVID-19 Insurance Scams and Fraud Schemes

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Insurance Administration is warning Marylanders about an uptick in insurance scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane recently received this text message to her personal cell phone: “This is the Novel Coronavirus insurance service based on the current outbreak. The premium for COVID-19 insurance is $1,000. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you can get a lump sum of $30,000. In the case of home isolation or hospital isolation, you can get $300 per day for up to 21 days.” The message also gave a “contact us” number.

“This was clearly a scam that was designed to lure people into providing personal information in exchange for the promise of insurance coverage that would never arrive,” said Commissioner Birrane.  The Maryland Insurance Administration’s Fraud and Investigation Unit launched an investigation and reported the message to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.  

Unsolicited offers for COVID-19 specific health insurance or business coverages that come through email, texts, or telephone cold calls from unfamiliar sources should be viewed with suspicion, particularly if there is no specific company name associated with the solicitation. The MIA’s Consumer Education and Advocacy Unit urges consumers to not respond to these offers without first verifying that they are legitimate.  If you are unable to verify the source of the offer as a legitimate insurer authorized to do business in Maryland, contact the MIA for assistance.

“We are here to help you remain vigilant about potential scams,” Commissioner Birrane said. “Sadly, there are bad actors that are continuing efforts to take advantage of people.”

More information about COVID-19-related fraudulent activity nationwide can be found at this link: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/fraud-alert-covid-19-scams/

The Maryland Insurance Administration maintains a database of all licensed insurance companies and professionals in the state. The information is public and can be accessed at https://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Pages/CompanySearchInstructions.aspx

Consumers are encouraged to report insurance fraud activities to the Maryland Insurance Administration's Insurance Fraud Division. You need not give your name. Simply call our insurance fraud tip line at 1-800-846-4069 or print and submit the insurance fraud referral form by mail to the address below. Consumers may also email fraud referrals by sending completed forms to fraud_referrals.mia@maryland.gov.

Maryland Insurance Administration
Attn: Maryland Insurance Fraud Division
200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202

About the Maryland Insurance Administration

The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $41 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin, Twitter at @MD_Insurance, LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/maryland-insurance-administration or Instagram at @marylandinsuranceadmin.


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