BBB: Beware of COVID-19 scams
The Better Business Bureau warns consumers about COVID-19 scams.
Testing kits. Whether it’s someone going door to door offering a COVID-19 testing kit or someone selling them online, don’t fall for this con. Currently, real testing kits cannot be purchased or performed at home.
Miracle cures, vaccines or supplements. When you see an advertisement promoting a miracle cure, vaccine or supplement to help you fight the coronavirus, ignore it. False claims like this should be reported to the BBB at bbb.org/adtruth.
Mask sales. While many people are on the hunt for medical-grade masks, scammers are posting fake websites. While the site may look legitimate, consumers are purchasing masks only to never receive the product or have their financial information compromised. Always check with the BBB at bbb.org before making any online purchase.
Government checks. If you receive a phone call from a “government representative” saying they need your Social Security number, banking account number or other personal information in order to give you relief check, hang up. Any time funds like this are distributed, the government will never call and ask for personal information.
Errand assistance. Be wary of strangers who offer to run errands for you. While there are legitimate groups who are offering assistance to those in need, there are scammers who are looking to take your prescription medications or your money. Do your research and check references first.
Free gift cards. Some businesses are providing discounts during this time, but, if you see an offer for a free gift card, proceed with caution. These offers are often “too good to be true” and lead you to a phishing site that asks for personal information. Always contact the company directly to see if any promotion is real.
Charity and giving. If you are looking to donate, make sure you are donating to legitimate charities. You can verify the trustworthiness of a charity by visiting give.org for free reports to see if the charity meets the BBB’s Standards for Charity Accountability. If you are giving to a crowdfunding cause, it’s best to give to someone you personally know and to be wary of vague requests.
Tracking apps. With COVID-19 spreading rapidly, you may want to know if the virus has spread to your area. While there are legitimate coronavirus “map apps” available, there are also ones that download malware and spyware onto your phone instead.
For more tips and information, visit bbb.org/coro