SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. - Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey is warning everyone about COVID-19 scams as scammers work to steal information and money.
The scams are not only over the phone, Sheriff Lopey explained. Scammers are working through texts, faxes and emails to try and solicit funds and information.
Sheriff Lopey said the criminals are working to get sensitive information like names, addresses, dates-of-birth, social security numbers, bank account information and even credit card numbers.
Some scammers say they are getting the victim's information, explaining they need it so the victim can receive their stimulus check.
This is a false claim, Sheriff Lopey said. The government typically will not contact you directly to ask for personal information.
Other scammers are acting as county or state health officials, telling the victim they have been contaminated with the coronavirus.
Some then ask the victim for their credit card number as to send medication, test kits or protective equipment.
Sheriff Lopey said another scam is through emails. A link is being sent showing coronavirus testing results but when it is opened, it could expose personal information and give the computer a Malware virus.
Several phishing scams have been noted as related to the current pandemic, according to Sheriff Lopey. Scammers are working to get personal information and posing as representatives from the World Health Organization and other federal, state and local health-related agencies.
The Sheriff is asking everyone to use caution when opening links, images and attachments in emails related to the coronavirus.
If you are in doubt about any charity, review the Federal Trade Commission's Charity Scams page before making any donations.
The latest scams target seniors, Sheriff Lopey said, and capitalize on the pandemic.
"We urge all citizens to realize health care emergencies bring out the best and sometimes the very worse in people," said Sheriff Lopey. "Please do not provide money, credit card information, bank account numbers, or any other personal information to anyone purporting to be representing governmental agencies that are distributing COVID-19-related stimulus, unemployment, or other benefits’ related entitlements."