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Woman with high-risk pregnancy receives fake COVID-19 test results

By Matt Rascon, KSL TV | Posted - Aug. 4, 2020 at 8:22 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman with a high-risk pregnancy said she received a fake positive COVID-19 test result from an alleged scammer in a text message.

There is nothing quite like the news of a new baby on the way. But when you have a history of blood clots in the lungs, like Rachel Mueller does, a positive COVID-19 test is the worst kind of news.

“It was pretty devastating,” she said. “I’ve been told that, you know, (COVID-19) would be life-threatening for somebody like me.”

Because of her health condition and pregnancy, Mueller and her family have taken extra precautions to stay virus-free. She was tested for the virus last week as a precaution. So you can imagine the stress that set in when she received a text message on Saturday from someone named Nicole, claiming to be from the West Valley Intermountain Instacare, and claiming Mueller had tested positive for the virus.

“I was in such shock because the only thing I see is, you know, you got that tunnel vision on ‘positive for coronavirus’ and it just shook me,” she said. “It kind of just messed up our whole day. I was bawling my eyes out because really, it’s a really scary thing.”

After the initial shock, Mueller remembered she had not been tested at the West Valley Instacare. Her attempts to get the messenger on the phone were unsuccessful because, in the words of the mysterious Nicole, she couldn’t talk because she also had the virus.

“This can’t be right,” Mueller said.

She called the instacare but was told no one named Nicole worked there.

Intermountain Healthcare officials said this was the first they had heard of the incident, but they said they are looking into it. Intermountain will not send a text message to patients to notify them of their results.

They are only alerting people by phone or on their MyHealth account. If there are any concerns about the source of your test results, they’re asking people to call the Intermountain advocacy program at 1-855-442-7855.

On its website, the FCC was warning consumers of “scam text-message campaigns and robocalls that prey on virus-related fears.”

Just be careful who’s texting you. Make sure it’s coming from the right source.

–Rachel Mueller

“Just the fact that someone made an effort to go out there and say these things is pretty scary,” Mueller said. “Why would you want to tell anybody that they have it?”

Mueller ultimately learned from her doctor that she had tested negative for the virus. News that offered some much-needed relief days before she is scheduled to give birth.

“Just be careful who’s texting you,” she warned. “Make sure it’s coming from the right source.”

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