South Florida Law Enforcement Warns of Coronavirus Scams

"Even in the worst of times there will be a small percent of people who want to take advantage of your fears.”

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Several law enforcement agencies in South Florida are sounding the alarm about scam artists who are out trying to tell residents that they are able to provide tests for COVID-19.  

Anyone coming to your home claiming that is trying to dupe you, law enforcement says.

A location set up by the state like the one at CB Smith Park in Broward County that is being operated by the Florida National Guard is authorized to gather the swabs and transmit them to a certified lab for testing. They are not sending out anyone on foot in neighborhoods in nearby Davie to solicit residents.  

Davie Police says that they were made aware of people dressed in medical outfits going to homes and offering coronavirus tests.

U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo-Orshan said that her office has their eye out for anyone who may be violating federal laws when soliciting South Florida residents about taking a COVID-19 test.

"Whenever we have a crisis situation, like the one we're experiencing right now, there's always those folks in our communities that are looking for a way to sort of make quick dollars and they capitalize on the fears and anxieties of those who are vulnerable," Fajardo-Orshan said.

Also, on the federal level, the FBI says scammers are operating on the internet claiming they can get you the test - which is also not true.  The U.S. Attorney encourages people to call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-5721.

"If you start getting phone calls or visits by somebody either dressed in scrubs or some kind of white lab coat telling you that they have the cure, or a pill, or some kind of medication that will cure COVID-19, or that they have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, surely, that is a fraudster, because nobody who really has a cure or vaccine (is) going to either call you on the phone or show up on your doorstep," Fajardo-Orshan said. "So please, if something like that happens, we want you to report that to our hotline."

Davie Police are telling the public to call them if someone comes to their home claiming they can do a COVID-19 test. Similar reports also came into the City of Miami Police Department and the chief went on social media to warn residents not to fall for anyone showing up at your home saying they can help you get the test.

“Let me just let everyone know that the health department is not going to be visiting you at home. No one is going to be coming to your door to see if you have the coronavirus," Chief Jorge Colina said in a video posted on Twitter. "So if someone makes that claim, don’t answer the door. Please don’t give your personal information over the phone. We’ve had people call us. Even in the worst of times there will be a small percent of people who want to take advantage of your fears.”

Miami Beach police also put out a warning on their social media accounts about their residents being approached in this manner.  

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