Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips to help you fight back.
Treatments & Cures
Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the Coronavirus, stop. If there’s a medical breakthrough, you’re not going to hear about it for the first time from an ad or sales pitch.
Email and Text Scams
Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the antimalware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
Hang up on illegal robocallers. Don’t press any numbers. 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.
Government Relief Checks
Expect scammers to take advantage of this. Here’s what you need to know: The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
Do your homework when it comes to donations. Use the organizations listed at ftc.gov/charity to help you research charities. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
Misinformation & Rumors
Before you pass on any messages, do some fact checking by contacting trusted sources. Visit usa.gov/coronavirus for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
Report suspicious claims or questionable practices to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Source: Federal Trade Commission