TUCSON, Ariz. — The FBI says COVID-19 scams are growing but there are some things you can look out for to keep yourself safe.
According FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jeremy Capello the agency gets hundreds of calls a day about scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government formed a task force earlier this month to crack down on criminals trying to get your money and personal information.
"There are alot of bad actors pivoting and using the pandemic to attack and burden the healthcare industry right now," Capello said,
The top scams include: unsolicited offers via email, robocall and social media for free testing, cures, treatments and vaccines. Healthcare price gouging, some offices are charging for extra unnecessary testing and labs. Officials say double-check your medical bills. Fake PPE(Personal Protective Equipment) some scammers claim they have access to large quantities of PPE which is not likely and scams demanding advanced fees and payments up front.
Officials say so far there are no FDA approved home test kits available to the public. They also want citizens to keep their medicare and social security numbers as private as possible.
"Alot of so-called brokers people who have never worked in the healthcare field or medical supply field but claim to have access to large quantities of N-95 masks. They're demanding payment up front. When approved treatment becomes available the first time you hear about it won't be from a stranger email or telephone call or online advertisement,” he said
Since January 1st the Federal Trade Commission has received over 18,000 complaints regarding COVID-19 scams. So far Americans have lost over 13-million dollars.