With the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, picking up steam across the U.S. and world, tensions have risen. This is understandable, yet as tensions rise and fears escalate, many people are wondering what the best precautions are to protect themselves from either becoming infected or recovering safely if they happen to come into contact with the virus. While there are many resources that provide accurate information on COVID-19, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is also a large amount of misinformation circulating online. Unfortunately, some individuals are attempting to capitalize on this misinformation and fear in order to benefit. Here are two timely scams we’ve seen already.
This may not come as a huge surprise, but many online vendors have been popping up with products claiming they can prevent or cure COVID-19. These statements have not been verified by agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and there is no evidence to suggest any of these products can help against the virus. To best prevent yourself from contracting this illness, the CDC recommends tips such as washing your hands often with soap and water, not touching your face, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and keeping a 6-foot distance from people in general. So, if you run across any miracle products online like teas and oils that claim to cure COVID-19, please exercise caution before you believe them.
Fake Emails and Texts
Scammers fabricating emails and texts to manipulate people into giving away money is not a new trend, yet spinning it to include the timeliness of COVID-19 is the most recent version. Some examples of these fake communications include alerts regarding cases in your community or donation requests to fake charities and non-profits. As always, we recommend doing your research before believing anything that is sent to you, and being careful clicking links or visiting websites. Times may be uncertain, yet using safe habits while engaging in online activities remains the key in staying one step ahead of scammers.