California Department of Social Services responds to hoax letter on social media

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Posted at 8:31 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 23:31:16-04

The California Department of Social Services is responding to a hoax letter circulating on social media claiming those on state-assisted benefits, like Cal Fresh and Medical, must be tested for COVID-19 to receive benefits.

According to the CDSS, the letter includes the faked signature of a state official and tells clients they must get tested for COVID-19 in order to continue their benefits. It also tells clients that if they test positive, their children will be removed into foster care.

It gives a fake website on where to receive free testing - and says failure to do so by June 1st could result in suspended benefits.

The letter asks people to visit a website, as well. The letter, its contents, and the website are fake, according to CDSS.

Officials warn the fraudulent letter is being circulated with varying letterheads from counties all over the state.

CDSS said it was made aware of the hoax from the Merced County Human Services Agency. CDSS has alerted the appropriate county authorities for investigation.