Coronavirus Tips: How to spot latest batch of coronavirus scams

Nina Pineda Image
Thursday, March 26, 2020
How to spot latest batch of COVID-19 scams
7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has more on the phone scams during COVID-19 outbreak.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Like the pandemic, there's now a spread of coronavirus scams targeting people's fears over the virus.

The head of the Federal Communications Commission told Eyewitness News that in just a few days, he's received hundreds of calls from people pitching everything from miracle cures to free testing kits.

What they want is your personal information and your money.

The scams range from rip-off robocalls peddling phony free COVID-19 tests, to calls targeting diabetics.

One fake phishing call we encountered pretended to be from the Social Security Administration which threatened to suspend social security due to the coronavirus.

"Remember the government will never call you for your personal information or ask for money," Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai said.

Pai says the rash of coronavirus calls, texts and emails all have the same goal.

"They want you to give over your name, your social security number or they want your money," Pai said.

We even found a tweet offering free Netflix which told people to just click the link and send to 10 friends.

Netflix sent out a warning that it's not real. The links will invade your device with malware.

"For a hacker this is like El Dorado," Founder of CyberScout Adam Levin said. "They struck gold because you have a distracted scared population."

The identity theft expert warns people not to click on any emailed links since they can include dangerous malware.

Never email attachments you didn't ask for and never pay money to register for job tests or funding. And beware of being contacted to verify that you qualify for coronavirus aid money.

The FCC Chairman also warned to be on the lookout for charity scams.

If you want to donate, never do it from a telemarketer or a robocall. Go directly to the charity and make your donation through it.

The FCC and the FTC have both posted warnings about coronavirus scams on their websites.


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