Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus Scams

April 7, 2020
Source: Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information
Type of News: Protection & Security

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning the public against common scams happening during the COVID-19 pandemic noting that scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’ve shared the following tips on protecting yourself from these scams during the peak of the pandemic.

  • Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from fake Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. 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 may lead to more robocalls instead.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Currently, there are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
  • Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing to links for federal, state, and local government agencies.
  • Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, such as cleaning, household, health, and medical supplies when, in fact, they might not.
  • Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now may be a scammer.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for 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 your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into donating. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

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