As if you don’t have enough worry about right now, coronavirus scams are proliferating as the pandemic grows. Be alert to emails, phone calls, and text message that promise you coronavirus or COVID-19 help or information. Here are a few known scams to watch out for:
Coronavirus relief check scams. Now that the federal government has passed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, every American who makes up to $75,000 per year can expect to receive a check for $1,200. You’ll get the check by direct deposit if you’ve already set it up with the IRS. Otherwise, the check will arrive in the mail. You don’t have to “sign up” or fill out anything to get your check, so don’t fall for emails, calls, or texts asking for your personal information.
CDC email scams. Scammers have created email campaigns that appear to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These emails claim to have important information about the virus, but that’s just a hook. Don’t click on any links in these emails; they may install malware on your computers to steal information from you. For the latest COVID-19 information from official government sources, go directly to the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization (WHO).
Promises of coronavirus vaccinations, treatments, or home test kits. Currently, there are no proven treatments for COVID-19. Nor are there approved vaccines or home test kits. Ignore any offers to sell you such things.
The list of coronavirus scams is growing every day. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published an overview including a comprehensive list of tips to help you stay alert to everything from fake news to phishing.