The department says scams are always a problem but it’s already noticed a few related to the pandemic.
“These are typical types of scams that you see every day,” said Brad Hilliard, spokesperson for the department. “Whether it’s an email, a phone call, it’s similar opportunities but your fraudsters are using the pandemic, people’s desire for information to take advantage of you.”
To warn people, the department has listed three types of scams you might come across:
Scam No. 1 –Avoid scams claiming to have a top-secret vaccine or miracle cure, or claiming to offer government assistance or economic relief. These false claims are scams intended to scare people into sharing their personal information.
- Do not open emails, click links, or open attachments from anyone you do not know
- Do not share your personal or financial information with anyone you do not know
Scam No. 2 – Avoid scams requiring downloads to view coronavirus maps. This is an attempt to get people to download malware onto their device.
- No download is required. These maps are available from Johns Hopkins University at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Scam No. 3 – Avoid scams using the market downturn to convince people to invest in a product with a guaranteed or very high return, including investments tied to COVID-19, such as medical supplies, vaccines, and other treatments. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Ask three questions before making any investment:
- Is it being offered with little or no risk?
- Is there a sense of urgency or limited availability?
- Is the person or the investment registered?
Hilliard says with something new to people like the coronavirus pandemic, people’s guard may be down more as they try to discern information to keep them safe.
“You’re looking for information related to COVID-19 or related to the coronavirus and you might be a little more willing to open that email or click that link thinking its going to be information when its actually a scam,” he said.
The department asks that everyone take their time and do their research on everything before making any monetary decisions that could cost them.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.