We're all adjusting our lives in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us trying to find the best camera angle for Zoom conference calls and learning new ways to connect while practicing social distancing. Others are on a never-ending hunt for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. All the while, scammers are trying to capitalize on the public health crisis by exploiting people’s concerns as well as their generosity.
Although the reason behind their fraud is new, their schemes are familiar. The top COVID-19 scams going around are:
Fraudsters pretending to sell test kits, face masks and other medical supplies
Swindlers claiming to sell phony vaccines or cures, or offering work-at-home jobs that don’t exist
Imposters claiming to need personal information for you to get a government relief check
Fake charities soliciting money
Don't fall victim to these coronavirus-related scams. Follow these suggestionsL
1. Research and fact check before buying products, and know who you are buying from. Some fraudsters may try to sell fake products. Others may claim to have in-demand products—like cleaning supplies or medical supplies—when they actually don’t.
2. Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using autodialers to deliver pre-recorded messages to sell bogus products or opportunities. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to an operator or remove you from the call list, but it might lead to more scammer robocalls, instead.
3. Ignore offers for vaccinations or cures. At this time, there currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to cure Covid-19.
4. Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. Remember, no government agency is going to send you an unsolicited message asking you to disclose personal information.
5. Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
6. If you suspect price gouging, report it. You can call 1.866.9NO.SCAM or visit MyFloridaLegal.com.
7. Before clicking on a link to donate online, make sure you know who is receiving your donation. When it comes to charitable giving, don’t be rushed into making a donation. Also, avoid making donations in cash or by wiring money. Instead, pay by credit card or check.