Three ways scammers are taking advantage of coronavirus fears

Posted at 6:55 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 09:55:33-04

Coronavirus is top of mind for so many, even scammers looking to take advantage of people's fear of getting sick.

Here are three ways we've seen them targeting people.

1. False claims:

This week the Federal Trade Commission taking action, sending letters to more than half a dozen companies advertising products such as teas and essential oils as a way to treat or prevent the Coronavirus.

A reminder: the FDA has not approved any vaccines, drugs or other products to treat or prevent the virus. The FDA says the sale and promotion of these products is a threat to public health. If you see them, report them to the FTC.

2. Fake emails:

Did you get an email from the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control? It's not real!

We found one with the headline: "Flu Pandemic Warning." It said they were trying to "stop the spread of disease."

If you click on the link, you do spread a virus - to your computer! The CDC says all of your files would be affected and attackers would demand money to get back control.

Never click on unsolicited emails or links. Instead go to the real ".Gov" websites for the latest on COVID-19.

3. Impersonating health officials:

Health officials will not be making house calls!

If anyone shows up at your door claiming to be from the CDC or another health organization, it's a scam!

Police in New Jersey say they have reports of this and are warning it could go nationwide if the virus panic escalates.

Never give out personal information in person, online or by phone to someone you don't know. Be sure to report this to police if it happens to you.