Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus by setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get access to your personal information.
Even emails and posts that seem to be promoting awareness and prevention tips may contain dangerous links. Emails asking you to donate to victims, making false health claims, promoting sensationalized news, or offering advice on unproven treatments, may contain malicious attachments.
Keep Scammers away with these simple tips adapted from the Federal Trade Commission:
Use reliable sources for the most current information.
Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. 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. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus.
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. Uttilize reliable sites for your purchases and research sellers before purchasing.
Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes.
Don't respond to scammers calling about a loved one in danger and needing you to wire a payment for a treatment or medical assistance.
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.
Don't click on links in unsolicited emails OR from sources you don't know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device.
Research organizations before making a donations. Don't let anyone rush you into making a contribution. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don't do it.
Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date. Updating your devices can help to secure against hackers and identity theft. Visit the Federal Trade Commission cyber security basics page to learn how to protect your devices from cyber attacks.
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. Information will be available on Government websites when details are known. Check Wisconsin.gov/COVID-19 frequently for updates.