Fraud Alert: COVID-19 Scams

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Individuals are using testing sites, telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams.
Fraudsters are offering COVID-19 services in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, these services are unapproved and illegitimate. 
These scammers use the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harm. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft. 

Protect Yourself

  • Be cautious of any COVID-19 testing site that requires your financial or medical information in order to receive a free test.
  • Be mindful of advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media platforms. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an approved testing site. We encourage the public to check official government websites for a list of approved COVID-19 testing sites.
  • Be careful! Scammers are selling fake and unauthorized at-home COVID-19 test kits in exchange for your personal or medical information. Make sure to purchase FDA approved COVID-19 test kits from legitimate providers.
  • Do not purchase or reproduce fake COVID-19 proof of vaccination cards, and do not fill-in blank vaccination cards with false information.
  • Offers to purchase COVID-19 vaccination cards are scams. Valid proof of COVID-19 vaccination can only be provided to individuals by legitimate providers administering vaccines.
  • Photos of COVID-19 vaccination cards should not be shared on social media. Posting content that includes your date of birth, health care details or other personally identifiable information can be used to steal your identity.
  • As volunteers go door-to-door to inform communities across the country about COVID-19 vaccines, be sure to protect yourself from criminals who are seeking to commit fraud. Do not provide personal, medical, or financial details to anyone in exchange for vaccine information, and obtain vaccinations from trusted providers.
  • Be cautious of COVID-19 survey scams. Do not give your personal, medical, or financial information to anyone claiming to offer money or gifts in exchange for your participation in a COVID-19 vaccine survey.
  • Be mindful of how you dispose of COVID-19 materials such as syringes, vials, vial container boxes, vaccination record cards, and shipment or tracking records. Improper disposal of these items could be used by bad actors to commit fraud.
  • Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their personal, medical, and financial information. Medicare will not call beneficiaries to offer COVID-19 related products, services, or benefit review.
  • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
  • Do not respond to, or open links in, text messages about COVID-19 from unknown individuals.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to offer HHS grants related to COVID-19.
  • Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your medical or financial information or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test.
  • If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

Food Pantry on December 18th

Whole chickens, large boxes of fresh produce, Pepsi products. Also, while supplies last; toys, Pajamas, t-shirts, socks, underwear, kitchen tools & accessories, etc. Hosted by Still I Rise and others. Starting at noon on Saturday, December 18 at the Kankakee Farmers’ Market grounds (250 South Schuyler Avenue – on the corner of South Schuyler and Station Street).

Prevailing Wage Database Allows Public to Monitor Wages Paid on Projects

SPRINGFIELD – Beginning January 1, 2022, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) will be responsible for maintaining a database that allows the public to search certified payrolls submitted by construction contractors on public works projects subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act. This is the result of Public Act 102-0332 that was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Pritzker.

“This is a step toward transparency in public spending that will help keep employers accountable,” said Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik. “It will also allow public bodies to monitor the wages paid on projects they initiate.”

In 2020, IDOL began accepting certified payroll submissions from construction contractors on public works projects subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act. Contractors are required to file those certified payrolls by the 15th of each month. This is done to ensure contractors are complying with the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.

By the 16th day of each month following the month work was performed, IDOL will make relevant information available to the public.

That information includes each worker’s classification, skill level (such as apprentice or journeyman), gross wages paid in each pay period, number of hours worked each day, start and end times of work each day, hourly wage rate, hourly overtime wage rate, and hourly fringe benefit rate.

The database shall be searchable by contractor name, project name, county in which the work was performed and contracting public body.

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Illinois Department of Labor press release – December 6, 2021

Harbor House Donation Drive

Sometimes Harbor House’s needs grow to the point of quick trips to the store on a Sunday afternoon to buy towels and comforters for survivors coming into our emergency shelter. All of their programs, including emergency shelter, have seen significant increases in the number of survivors they are serving. However, the emergency shelter is the most expensive of the programs. If you’re wondering how you can help support survivors, the Community Commission to End Domestic Violence is hosting a donation drive this month to benefit survivors of domestic violence.

On Saturday, November 20 from 8 a.m. to noon, you can drop items off at their Administrative Facility at 430 W Merchant, Kankakee. Or, if you prefer, you can purchase items directly from our Amazon Wishlist at https://a.co/89PQC4h to be shipped directly to Harbor House. To register for the next Commission meeting to learn about the effects of domestic violence on children, go to harborhousedv.org/events

Summer Meet and Greet

Join us at the new Uplifted Bistro on Schuyler Avenue in Bradley. Individual tickets are $10 which includes finger foods and a drink ticket. Beer and wine also included.

Donate online via ActBlue. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kerkstra

  • Friend Sponsorship: $50 (one ticket)
  • Raffle Prize Sponsorship: $125 (two tickets)
  • Beverage Sponsorship: $250 (three tickets)
  • Food Sponsorship $500 (reserved table 4 tickets)
  • Event Sponsorship $1,000 (reserved table 4 tickets)

Email mr.kerkstra@gmail.com or call/text (815) 214-9734 with any questions.

Every dollar is appreciated. Thank you for your consideration.

Food Pantry on November 20

Stop by for turkeys, large boxes of fresh produce, soda, etc., at the next Still I Rise: Community Food Giveaway in collaboration with Top Box Foods. The event takes place on Saturday, November 20th, 2021 at the Kankakee Farmers’ Market grounds (250 South Schuyler Avenue – on the corner of South Schuyler and Station Street) starting at 12:00pm. Hosted by Still I Rise along with the American Diabetes Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and various sponsors.

Still I Rise is a dynamic and innovative leadership development non-profit that empowers youth and young adults to create a positive change in society.

Covid-19 Vaccination Registration Survey

Please fill out the survey to get on the participation list for Covid-19 vaccination. ***The survey is meant for Kankakee County residents only.*** This survey was designed to assist the Kankakee County Health Department in planning for Covid-19 vaccine distribution. Questions contained in this survey were developed from limited and preliminary guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

For those unable to use the computer, the Kankakee County Public Health added a COVID-19 Vaccination Registration Line to provide information and to assist with getting registered. That number is (815) 802-9449.