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COVID-19 Related Fraud Scams Increasing

A Federal Bureau of Investigation public service announcement warns that scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal money and personal identification information.

The agency warned consumers and businesses to do research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus, donating to a charity online or through social media, contributing to a crowdfunding campaign, purchasing products online, or giving up personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.https://www.ic3.gov/media/2020/200320.aspx

Specifically, the FBI urges people to 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.
  • Emails from scammers posing as such organization may contain malware-delivering links.
  • Internet users should also be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide.
  • Phishing emails asking the recipient to verify personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government.
  • Phishing emails may also claim to be related to charities, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines, or fake testing kits.
  • Counterfeit treatments or equipment, which some scammers claim will prevent, diagnose or cure COVID-19.
  • The obvious list of counterfeits includes sanitizing products and personal protective equipment including masks, goggles, face shields, gowns and gloves.

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