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Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal from you
SHOW LOW, Ariz. (March 25, 2020) – Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information or both. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits. The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following:
Fake CDC Emails. Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be wary of websites, apps and maps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.
Phishing Emails. Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to charitable contributions, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines, and fake testing kits.
We urge our citizens to refrain from opening or forwarding emails from unknown or suspicious senders. Instead, go directly to a trustworthy website for information rather than clicking on a link provided through search engines or pop-ups. Also, be sure to download a reputable antivirus software program that runs security scans often.