Coronavirus Scam: Authorities Warn Against Fake COVID-19 Text Message and Other Scams

Authorities are urging citizens to be careful due to a variety of new scams connected with COVID-19, including one saying they may have come into contact with someone who is infected.

The police in Thomaston, Maine are making people aware of a new scam that warns the target victim they have been in contact with a coronavirus carrier. The text message, which comes from a 317 area code (Indianapolis area), asks the target to click on a link to find out more. Authorities urge the public not to follow the link as it is likely made to extract personal information.

The police department wrote:

“If you receive a text message like the one pictured below, DO NOT click the link! It is not a message from any official agency. It is however a gateway for bad actors to find their way into your world. The virus is not the only invisible enemy. Be vigilant against all threats!”

🚨🚨SCAM ALERT🚨🚨If you receive a text message like the one pictured below, DO NOT click the link! It is not a message…

Posted by Thomaston Police Department on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The scam in question is just one of a number of others that prey on weak and anxious people during the crisis.

The Federal Trade Commission has made a list of warnings connected to these scams.

Some of them include:

* Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. Scammers are using the coronavirus relief checks to try to obtain personal information and payments.
* Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home-test kits. No such approved products exist at this time.
* Hang up on robocalls.

Another warning was also issued for companies to not advertise products that claim to protect against COVID-19, as they are not supported by any evidence approved by the FDA.

In LA, officials are going after a number of crimes related to the crisis, including fake adverts for supposed healing methods, price gouging and violations of the self-isolation orders.

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer not long ago settled with a company over claims it was promoting a misleading product as a home test kit for coronavirus.

See CBS Boston’s report on the scam issue in the video below.

What are your thoughts on this problem? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article to spread awareness about these scams.

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