Tippecanoe County lawmakers warn of coronavirus-related scams, highlight helpful tips

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

STATEHOUSE (May 12, 2020) – Tippecanoe County lawmakers urge Hoosiers to be vigilant in protecting themselves against scams, which are surging during the public health pandemic.

State Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) said it's important to stay informed and alert because fraudsters are using coronavirus-related fears to obtain personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims.

"There are people out there who will use any means necessary to take advantage of others," Brown said. "It's sad and unfortunate, but reality. We all need to be aware that scams come in different forms and new ones pop up every day."

According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers are using text messages and robocalls to offer free home testing kits, promote fake cures and sell low-priced health insurance. Government imposter scams are also on the rise, including those targeting people on Medicare. State Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) said if a caller claims to be a Medicare representative and asks to verify personal information like bank account, Social Security or Medicare numbers, Hoosiers should hang up.

"Unfortunately, scammers are always standing by and waiting to take advantage of people in vulnerable positions, and this pandemic creates another opportunity for them," Lehe said. "We all need to be extra diligent to protect ourselves from becoming victims."

"It's terrible that anyone would use a crisis like this pandemic to prey upon others," said State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica). "With all the aspects of this situation we need to be vigilant of, avoiding fraud is sadly one of them."

To guard against coronavirus scams, local lawmakers asked Hoosiers to follow these five tips provided by the FTC: 

  • Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work;
  • Hang up on robocalls. Scammers use these illegal sales calls to get your money and personal information;
  • Watch out for phishing email and text messages. Don’t click on links in emails or texts you didn’t expect;
  • Research before you donate. Don't let anyone rush you into making a donation. Get tips on donating wisely at ftc.gov/charity; and
  • Be informed. Visit ftc.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on scams.

Criminals are also taking advantage of individuals who are expecting federal stimulus payments. Scammers will call, text and email asking for personal or bank account information in order to release funds. The IRS won’t contact individuals by phone, email, text message or social media with information about stimulus payments, or to ask for a Social Security number, bank account or government benefits debit card account number. 

Hoosiers who believe they are a victim of a scam should contact law enforcement immediately. Report scams to the Indiana Attorney General’s office by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com and the FTC by visiting ftc.gov/complaint.


State Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) represents House District 41,
which includes portions of Boone, Montgomery and Tippecanoe counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) represents House District 25, which
includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties.
here for a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) represents House District 13, which includes all of Benton County, 
and portions of Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties. 
Click here for a high-resolution photo.