By Frank Schoenfeld

Over the last decade, the Molalla Police Department has worked very hard to advance our relationship with this great community. It is a partnership that serves all citizens with equal dedication, respect, fairness, and compassion. The department’s visioning goals, policy adaptation, hiring practices, training, supervision, and effort to build and maintain trust with our under-represented population are all strong components we have used to accomplish this goal. With the senseless acts that occurred surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, the men and women of the Molalla Police Department are disheartened, upset, and disturbed. Such actions tarnish the heroic and hard work they put forth and that of officers across the nation that share this very noble calling. 

I have often mentioned that our police department is so blessed to serve a great community like Molalla. This was evident with our recent protest held at Long Park. Whether you agreed with either side of the demonstration or not, the fact that this community can peacefully assemble and demonstrate legitimate concerns without condoning acts of violence, truly explains why we live in this-little-slice-of-heaven called Molalla. As I talked with many involved in the protest, the message was clear; acts of violence and destruction are not effective ways to bring about change or dialogue.

As your Police Chief, I admit that the matters that have arisen in the wake of the horrible situation in Minnesota and subsequent protests are very complicated. I do not have all the answers, but I can tell you one thing for sure, the very core of this small community strives to care and shows respect for one another. It is by this way of “Molalla-Life” that we will all maintain a community reflective of our shared values. I think there are many cities in our nation that could learn something from our good community.

Over the past week, the support shown by our community has been overwhelming. I started off by trying to answer all the wonderful cards, emails, greet folks dropping of food, treats, care-packages, gift cards, Thank You’s, etc., with individual thanks, but I can no longer keep up with the inflow. Molalla, you continually show us you have our backs. Please know we love you, we are here for you, and we will always have All of yours.

Emerging Health Care Fraud Schemes Related to COVID-19 Pandemic

As if this pandemic has not already created enough problems for this great community we call Molalla, it has, unfortunately, also created a great deal of opportunity (both locally and nationwide) for criminals because they see a vulnerable population out there who they can prey upon.

Here is some great advice, put out by the F.B.I., warning of emerging healthcare fraud schemes related to COVID-19 pandemic.

Bad actors are selling fake COVID-19 test kits and unapproved treatments through telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits. Many scammers are promising free care to patients to gain access to personal and health insurance information, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and financial data.

COVID-19 Testing Schemes
Beware of individuals who contact you in person, by phone, or by email to tell you the government or government officials require you to take a COVID-19 test. These scammers will likely ask for your health insurance information, including your Medicare or Medicaid number, and other personal information. Prior healthcare fraud investigations have shown that once scammers obtain an individual’s personal information, they use it to bill federal health care programs and/or health insurance plans and pocket the proceeds. Be cautious of any unsolicited offer that requires or requests your medical insurance information.

Also beware of individuals offering to sell you a COVID-19 test kit or supplies, especially when these contacts are unexpected. A physician or other trusted healthcare should assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing. Some scammers are selling fake at-home test kits; some are even going door-to-door and performing fake tests for money. Legitimate tests are offered free to patients when administered by a healthcare professional.

COVID-19 Treatment Schemes
Legitimate medical professionals and scientists throughout the U.S. are working hard to find a cure, approved treatment, and vaccine for COVID-19. Unfortunately, they don’t yet exist. At the same time, scammers are working hard to sell fake cures, treatments, and vaccines. Ignore unsolicited offers for these fake procedures. Do not provide any personal information, including your financial information, Medicare or Medicaid number, or private health insurance information to anyone offering them.

When the actual approved treatment or cure becomes available, the first time you hear about it will not be through an email, telephone call, online advertisement, or unsolicited in-person sales pitch from a stranger.

You should also beware of scammers claiming to be medical professionals and demanding payment for treating a friend or relative for COVID-19.
If you do receive treatment for COVID-19, be sure to check the medical bills and the explanation of benefits from your provider, the government health program, or insurance company. Be sure you are not billed for medical services you did not receive and that the dates of service are accurate. If you spot an error, call your medical provider and your insurance company.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted extensive guidance and information on the internet that is updated frequently. You may also consult your primary care physician for guidance.

For accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19