FBI sees increase in fraud schemes related to COVID-19

The FBI is warning the public to be cautious of scammers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Mar 20, 2020 11:31 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The FBI is warning the public to be cautious of scammers during the coronavirus pandemic.

FBI Sacramento took to Twitter Friday warning people that criminals are attempting to use malicious websites and apps, in order to gain access to devices until they receive a payment.

“Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; 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 FBI said in a press release.

The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following

Fake CDC emails

Watch out for emails that claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Also, be cautious of links or attachments. The FBI says to not click on attached items or links that you do not recognize.

Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to computers in order to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand a payment, the FBI said.

Phishing Emails

Watch out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking private information in order to send you money, the FBI said.

Phishing emails may also claim to be related to charitable contributions, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines, and fake testing kits.

Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment
People should 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, including N95 masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves, according to the FBI.

If you believe you’re the victim of an internet scam or cyber-crime, or if you would like to report suspicious activity, CLICK HERE

For a list of unapproved or counterfeit equipment, CLICK HERE

For continuing coronavirus coverage, CLICK HERE

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