Scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to prey on people’s fears. Allen Police Department joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in reminding you to look out for the following scams:
Fake CDC Emails
Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.
Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to:
- Charitable contributions
- General financial relief
- Airline carrier refunds
- Fake cures and vaccines
- Fake testing kits
Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment
Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns and gloves. More information on unapproved or counterfeit PPE can be found at cdc.gov/niosh. You can also find information on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website and on the Environmental Protection Agency website. Report counterfeit products at ic3.gov and to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.
If you are looking for accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, the CDC has posted extensive guidance and information that is updated frequently. The best sources for authoritative information on COVID-19 are cdc.gov and coronavirus.gov. You may also consult your primary care physician for guidance.
4 Tips to Protect Yourself from Scams
1. Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from senders you don’t recognize.
2. Refuse to supply login credentials, financial data or personal information in response to an email.
3. Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
4. Check for misspellings or incorrect domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a ".gov" ends in .com" instead).