Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce is informing the public that scams related to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are rapidly increasing as the public health emergency continues. According to the FBI, the scams fall into several categories: 1) selling phony products that don’t exist or don’t work; 2) overcharging for goods in high demand, such as face masks or hand sanitizers; 3) emails supposedly from WHO or the CDC requesting personal information; and 4) bogus charities seeking donations.
In particular, District Attorney Dudley said that the FBI advises everyone to be on the lookout for the following:
- email asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government;
- anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19;
- email claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) offering information on the virus if you click on a link.
Protect yourself and help stop criminal activity by remembering the following tips:
- Don’t open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don’t recognize.
- Do not provide your personal information (username, password, date of birth, social security number, etc.) in response to an email or robocall.
- Do not provide your Medicare number to anyone other than your doctor or health care provider.
- Verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
District Attorney Dudley asked anyone who believes they have been a victim of an internet scam or a cybercrime or want to report suspicious activity, it should be reported on the FBI’s website at www.ic3.gov.