LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The FBI is warning people about a growing number of coronavirus-related scams.
The agency says scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal money, personal information, or both.
The FBI says do your research before clicking on links claiming to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; buying virus-related products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.
The bureau says watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus.
The FBI says do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment.
Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. The FBI says criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.
Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government, according to the FBI.
While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money.
Phishing emails may also claim to be related to:
- Charitable contributions
- General financial relief
- Airline carrier refunds
- Fake cures and vaccines
- Fake testing kits
The FBI says be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19.
Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves.
More information on unapproved or counterfeit PPE can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.