Beware Coronavirus Scams
Right now it’s important to protect ourselves physically through social distancing. And it’s also important to protect ourselves financially and virtually through increased awareness. These days, scammers are committing crimes by using the coronavirus. These criminals may try to steal from you. I’m sending this list of common scams so that you can be aware—and not fall for scammers’ tricks.
According to the Federal Trade Commission1, scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding COVID-19. Here are some common ways:
- Using illegal robocalls to pitch fake Coronavirus treatments. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead. Hang up on robocalls and don’t press any numbers.
- Sending fake emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Do not respond to emails from organizations claiming to be the CDC or the WHO.
- Sending emails with offers for vaccinations and home test kits, or posting such offers on websites. Scammers may try to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the virus. At this time, there are no FDA-authorized home test kits for COVID-19. Visit the FDA to learn more. Do not respond to these emails or click on email or website links.
- Pitching phony charity or crowdfunding sites for coronavirus-related donations. Do your homework when it comes to donations, and don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
- Offering free home test kits for Medicare recipients. In these scams, criminals are trying to obtain Medicare numbers. Do not respond to these emails or phone calls.
My staff and I are wishing you and your loved ones good health—and safety from scrupulous scammers—during the virus outbreak.