BBB Offers Education and Tips for Avoiding Coronavirus Scams
Because the public is surrounded by conflicting information about COVID-19 that makes it difficult to figure out who and what to listen to, BBB (www.bbb.org) is offering information and tips for avoiding COVID-19 scams. BBBs are being bombarded by a myriad of reports about scams. They recognize that, unfortunately, when under stress, people are more likely to fall for them.
Below is some advice and tips from your BBB to help you navigate fake news and scams.
Types of Scams Related to the Coronavirus Crisis:
- Phony treatments and cures that could be dangerous. The FDA, FTC, and DOJ have landed on companies and websites marketing these false cures.
- Bogus offers for government grants and stimulus payments promoted through phone calls, emails, text messages, and social media. The crooks say an upfront fee is required to get the money.
- Fraudulent websites selling face masks, home testing kits, and even vaccines. There are no approved home testing kits or vaccines.
- Calls to businesses purportedly from government unemployment offices asking for confidential information about employees.
- Phishing emails with dangerous links and attachments
- Investment scams
- And more
BBB Tips to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Coronavirus Scam:
- Be skeptical of miracle cures and consult with a healthcare professional before using any product.
- Check out any seller with the BBB and look for reviews online.
- Remember that the government will not ask you to pay a fee or provide your SSN, credit card, or bank account number to get a stimulus payment. Grants usually flow through nonprofits rather than directly to consumers.
- Don’t click on links or attachments in emails, text messages, or social media messages unless you’re sure they’re legitimate. Don’t assume they are because they appear to come from a friend.
- Thoroughly research any investment opportunity as well as the seller.
Read more about these and other scams on the Better Business Bureau’s website, BBB.org/scamstudies.