It is important to protect your health and your wallet during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The AARP Fraud Network and the Federal Trade Commission offer the following information on COVID-19 related scams.
How it works:
- Scammers may set up websites to sell bogus “coronavirus products” from face masks to vaccines to cure-alls, and use fake emails, texts and social media posts to get you to share payment or sensitive personal information.
- You may come across emails or social posts claiming to promote awareness or give prevention tips, including fake information about cases in your neighborhood. Scammers may use this as a way to tout a new can’t-miss “investment opportunity” for example, in face masks or a cure.
- You may get donation requests claiming to raise money to help victims.
What you should know:
- There is currently no vaccine available for Coronavirus.
- Any investment opportunity that claims to ride the wave of economic activity due to the virus is probably an opportunity to lose money to a scam.
- Your best resources for information on the virus are the ones you know and trust – but first verify that the resource is who you think it is.
What you should do:
- Don’t click on email links from sources you don’t know. They could download malware on your device.
- Ignore any online offers for vaccinations or treatments If a vaccine or treatment is developed, you will hear about it in the news not from an online ad or sales pitch.
- If you receive a communication claiming to be from a government agency like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close the email and then visit the agency’s website directly at cdc.gov.
- Engage your inner skeptic when confronted with donation requests. Before giving check out charity watchdogs like give.org or charitynavigator.org.