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Scammers Are Taking Advantage of Fears Surrounding the Coronavirus

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Scammers Are Taking Advantage of Fears Surrounding the Coronavirus

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Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

scam protection tips
Hang up on robocalls

Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead

Fact-check information

Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies

Know who you're buying from

Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t

Don't respond to texts or emails about checks

Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer

Avoid emails claiming to be from the CDC

Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO)

Ignore online offers for vaccinations

There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores

Do your homework

Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it

What the FTC is doing

The FTC and FDA have jointly issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the coronavirus. The companies’ products include teas, essential oils and colloidal silver.

The FTC says the companies have no evidence to back up their claims — as required by law. The FDA says there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.