HUDSON, OH (March 20, 2020) – While people scramble for information during the coronavirus crisis, scammers are using the situation to take advantage of people, often the most vulnerable. Do not provide information such as your address, social security number, driver’s license number, bank account information, etc. to anyone over the phone, no matter how legitimate they may sound. Hang up immediately when people ask for this information.
People are calling and even going door to door offering cures to COVID-19, home testing, and other scams to unsuspecting citizens. As the crisis progresses, scammers will come up with new fake items to sell and other reasons to obtain your sensitive information. Do not fall prey to scammers. Here are tips from the Ohio Attorney General’s office:
- Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other expert sources with special advice or information about the coronavirus. Legitimate information is available for free on the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/.
- Ignore online advertisements, phone calls, or in person visits from people promoting cures for the coronavirus. There are no cures available by prescription or over-the-counter products. Call law enforcement immediately if you see a suspicious person. Never let strangers into your home.
- Be cautious of anyone going door to door offering coronavirus testing or temperature readings and requesting personal information. Contact your doctor if you think you need a test. Do not let strangers into your home or allow them to distract you while they have someone else try to enter your home.
- Do your homework before donating to nonprofit organizations and crowdfunding campaigns. There are many bogus requests for funding. Directly contact the organization through a verified phone number or website. Never donate via cash, gift cards, wire transfer or prepaid money card. These are the preferred payment methods of scammers not legitimate non-profit organizations.
- Beware of email attempts to “phish” for your personal, financial and medical information. If the source claims to be your bank or a government agency, confirm they are legitimate by calling the organization at a phone number you have verified.
- Do not provide information to people claiming to help you get checks from the government. Nothing has been formalized yet. For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website and stay tuned for updates from the Ohio Governor’s Office.
- When online, don’t click on unknown links or pop-ups and never download any suspicious email attachment. Doing so could infect your devices with malicious ransom.
For more information, visit the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.