COVID-19 Scams

Updated March 19, 2020
COVID-19 Scams

Scammers are using the fears surrounding this pandemic to scam people.

Coronavirus, COVID 19, has been in the headlines every day for the past few weeks.  Every morning you hear on the news of more cases, deaths, schools being closed, and added restrictions.  Residents everywhere are worried and some are panicked.  You can see this in the grocery store where empty shelves line the aisles.  Scammers are using the fears surrounding this pandemic to scam people. These scammers are setting up websites to sell fake products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts to con people out of their money and to get your personal information.  

Remember there is no cure, vaccine, or treatment for COVID 19.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers the following tips to keep these scammers at bay.

  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the Coronavirus, ask yourself: if there’s been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.

Important note: our partners in the City of Roseville Utilities are reporting, since the COVID-19 outbreak began, they've received several calls regarding scammers requesting payment on past due utility bills immediately. Please note, last week, they announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve voluntarily implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment.

This suspension applies to both residential and commercial customers and will remain in effect until further notice.

Criminals will take advantage of any situation and the fear surrounding COVID-19 is no exception.  Don’t let the scammers con you or your loved ones.  Share these tips with them.

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