The Charlotte Office of the FBI sent these tips out for avoiding fraudsters and scams during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Scammers will exploit any situation they think will help them be more successful in their scam. With the outbreak of COVID-19, scammers have found a platform that preys on people's fears and could make them more likely to be victimized.
- Be aware that criminals are attempting to use malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received. Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide. Report scams and attempted fraud at ic3.gov.
- Although this is happening, you can avoid falling prey to this type of scam. By remembering these four tips, the public can both protect themselves and help stop this type of activity:
- Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from senders you don't recognize.
- Always independently verify the information originates from a legitimate source (for example, check the CDC website)
- Refuse to supply login credentials or financial data in response to an email.
- Visit websites by inputting their domains manually.
For more information about corona virus scams visit the FTC site. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing