Scam artists preying on coronavirus concerns

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It should come as no surprise, as soon as a disaster of any kind hits, scam artists dream up new ways to try to line their own pockets.

Area law enforcement agencies are warning of scams already starting to pop up to exploit concerns about the coronavirus.

Below are some examples of the types of scams being seen across the United States:

1. Emails that appear to be from organizations such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), or the WHO (World Health Organization). The scammers have crafted emails that appear to come from these sources, but they actually contain malicious phishing links or dangerous attachments.

2. Emails that ask for charity donations for studies, doctors, or victims that have been affected by the COVD-19 Coronavirus. Scammers often create fake charity emails after global phenomenons occur, like natural disasters, or health scares like the COVID-19.

3. Emails that claim to have a “new” or “updated” list of cases of coronavirus in your area. These emails could contain dangerous links and information designed to scare you into clicking on the link.

Consumer advocates warn citizens to:

• Never click on links or download attachments from an email that you weren’t expecting.
• If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organization such as the WHO or CDC, report the email to the official organization through their website.
• If you want to make a charity donation, go to the charity website of your choice to submit your payment. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails, or other messages.

If family members may be susceptible, alert them to the scams.

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