You are here

Coronavirus: Scammers follow the headlines

Share this page

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’re setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal information.

The emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, and fake information about cases in your neighborhood. They also may be asking you to donate to victims, offering advice on unproven treatments, or contain malicious email attachments.

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that 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).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the Coronavirus, ask yourself: if there’s been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. 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.
  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

Want more information on the latest scams we’re seeing? Sign up for our consumer alerts. If you come across any suspicious claims, report them to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

woman at computer filing a complaint with the FTC

Comments

how low can the scammers go?

Thank you for these absolutely timely informative advice will share with Chambers PD HOA and senior centers Thank you again for your services

So fed up with these scammers. Unbelievable.

Thanks to you guys for helping to keep everyone informed. So many people are lesser informed and thus they are targets for anything that comes their way. These scammers have lots of energy and initiative. Sadly, they do not have an ounce of conscience or any morals at all.

Thank you for your reliable information. Our agency does a weekly presentation on elders and scams. Your organization is one of the sources I use for my consumers.

You're welcome! Thank you for sharing the information.

Have you seen our Pass It On campaign created for older adults? It has information on a dozen scams, with printable resources and PowerPoint presentation for each topic. You can print the resources or order free copies from our Bulkorder site (shipping is free too).

These people have no shame at all.

We can live but we can't pass everything in life

Avoid getting ripped off. Do the homework, knowledge is power.

Most of us are so aware of spam, that we trust Nobody....Thank you for the info....we appreciate it!!

Do you happen to have a flyer that we may be able to mail to people? In English and Spanish?

No, we don't have a flyer, but we have English and Spanish content at www.ftc.gov/coronavirus and www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/es. All FTC material is free to use and in the public domain. You can link or copy it freely. The resource page has: 

  • social media buttons about coronavirus to place on social media accounts
  • tips & government agency links you can add to a tip sheet 
  • a list of FTC blog posts, which that have more information you can link to or copy

Leave a Comment