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Warning: Scams prevalent during coronavirus pandemic

More people reporting Social Security scam calls
Posted at 3:02 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 18:02:48-04

Scammers are trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley issued a warning Wednesday about the following types of scams:

  • Selling phony products that don't exist or don't work
  • Overcharging for goods in high demand, such as face masks or hand sanitizers
  • Emails supposedly from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting personal information
  • Bogus charities seeking donations

Dudley said you should watch out for the following:

  • Email asking you to verify your personal information in order 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 CDC or WHO offering information on the virus if you click on a link

To protect yourself, remember the following tips:

  • Do not 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

If you believe you've been a victim of a scam or want to report suspicious activity, you can file a report on the FBI's website.