• Last modified 531 days ago (Dec. 15, 2022)


Seniors targeted in likely scam

Staff writer

Seniors here have been receiving COVID-19 test kits in the mail, but police warn the packages are likely a scam.

Packages of eight at-home tests come with a return address of “Fulfillment Center” in Fairlawn, Ohio. A post office box is listed, but the street address, also listed, is that of the post office itself.

Inside the package is an insert that reads, “Thank you for choosing to receive your 8 COVID-19 home test kits provided by Medicare. If you no longer wish to receive your 8 Covid-19 home test kits provided by Medicare, please contact us.”

The note lists a web address with a name suspiciously close to “Medicare.”

If the recipient goes to the website, it has a form to opt out.

The problem is, the form asks for personal information.

The website is only a month old and information about its owner is hidden, Marion assistant police chief Steve Janzen said.

The opt-out form is a Google form that feeds information straight into a spreadsheet. He considers that suspicious, too.

Anything that a person receives in the mail without ordering it is considered a gift, and the recipient can do whatever he or she wants with it, Undersheriff Larry Starkey said.

He advised people not to contact the sender.

“If you don’t think something looks right, don’t go any further with it,” Starkey said.

Hillsboro assistant police chief Randy Brazil agreed.

“If you’re not 100% sure what you’re filling out, don’t fill it out,” Brazil said.

Starkey thinks residents of rural areas are targeted more often by scam artists because they are more trusting.

Detective Zach Honaker with the Fairlawn, Ohio, police department said he was working with a postal inspector to investigate the packages and website.

“We’re going through letters people have sent to the website,” Honaker said. “The letters say they want to opt-out.

“We’ll follow up with the postal inspector and see what we do.”

Last modified Dec. 15, 2022