Coronavirus scammers want your money and information: FBI
From fake tests to phishing emails, how fraudsters are trying to steal your money and information
The coronavirus is wreaking damage across the entire U.S. economy – and now fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the situation, too.
The FBI warned this week that there are a number of ways scammers are leveraging the current pandemic to steal both money and personal information.
“Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits,” the agency wrote in a press release.
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Here are some common scams to look out for:
Fake CDC emails
Hackers are sending out emails claiming to be the CDC or other organizations pretending to have information on the virus. The FBI warns consumers against clicking on links or opening attachments they do not recognize because it could allow fraudsters to install malware to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. They are also creating websites and apps claiming to track coronavirus cases worldwide.
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Fraudsters are sending emails asking people to verify their personal information in order to get a check from the government – which the FBI notes the government would not do.
Phishing emails are also being sent regarding charitable contributions, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines, fake testing kits.
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Counterfeit tests and equipment
Additionally, counterfeit products that claim to treat, diagnose or cure coronavirus are being peddled by scammers. As are counterfeit safety products like masks, goggles, full face shields, sanitizing products and protective gloves.