5 Ways to Prevent Yourself From Being Scammed During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

Desperate times call for desperate measures in times of crisis; and desperate people use fear to take unfair advantage of other desperate people — and the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic is no different, as teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver are some of the products which are marketed to be used to treat or prevent yourself from being affected by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus…

5 Ways to Prevent Yourself From Being Scammed During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

…and they are only a few of the many scams which have been increasing significantly in recent weeks in order to take advantage of people who fear contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus themselves.

The companies which sell products which they purport to treat or prevent the 2019 Novel Coronavirus have no evidence or proof to back up their unsubstantiated claims — as required by law — according to the Federal Trade Commission of the United States; and no vaccines, drugs or investigational products which are currently available to treat or prevent the 2019 Novel Coronavirus have been officially approved, according to the Food and Drug Administration of the United States.

As a result, both federal agencies have joined forces by issuing warning letters since Friday, March 6, 2020 to 23 alleged sellers of unapproved and misbranded products and services to protect unwary consumers from being bombarded with purposely deceptive advertising in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to 13 service providers of Voice over Internet Protocol and other companies at the time this article was written against “assisting and facilitating” illegal telemarketing calls related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The five ways you can protect yourself against becoming an unwary victim of scams pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic include:

  1. Do not respond to text messages, e-mail messages, or telephone calls pertaining to checks from the federal government of the United States, as the details are still coming together.
  2. Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits, as no products have been proven to treat or prevent 2019 Novel Coronavirus at this time.
  3. Hang up on “robocalls”, as scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
  4. Watch for e-mail messages claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. Use Internet web sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information; and do not click on links from sources you do not know.
  5. Do your homework pertaining to donations. Never donate in cash, by using a gift card, or by wiring money.

Click on the image for the Portable Document Format version of this file. Source: Federal Trade Commission of the United States.

Cyber Security Scam Alert Issued by the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization has officially issued a cyber security scam alert recently, warning to beware of criminals who pretend to be from the World Health Organization in order to perpetuate their deception upon innocent people.

Beware that hackers, cyber scammers, and other criminals are taking advantage of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic by using fraudulent e-mail messages, Internet web sites, telephone calls, text messages, WhatsApp messages, and even fax messages to perpetuate their scams by attempting to trick you into clicking on malicious links or opening attachments, which can then reveal your user name and password in order to to steal money or sensitive information from you.

If you are contacted by a person or organization that appears to be the World Health Organization, verify their authenticity before responding to them.

The World Health Organization will never:

  • Ask for your user name or password to access safety information
  • Send attachments in e-mail messages for which you did not ask
  • Ask you to visit a link outside of www.who.int
  • Charge money to apply for a job, register for a conference, or reserve a hotel
  • Conduct lotteries or offer prizes, grants, certificates or funding through e-mail messages

Past Articles From the Federal Trade Commission Pertaining to 2019 Novel Coronavirus

The following 18 articles are from the official weblog of the Federal Trade Commission of the United States pertaining to scams and useful information related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic:

“Scammy” Telephone Calls Pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

The following seven recordings of “scammy” telephone calls pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus are courtesy of Nomorobo:

Other Activities, Related Articles, and Social Media “Shareables”

Learn more about the response from the Federal Trade Commission to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — including how the agency is addressing competition matters.

Link to ftc.gov/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information from the Federal Trade Commission about 2019 Novel Coronavirus scams.

The following five articles pertain to advice which is offered by the Federal Trade Commission in general:

Other Articles From The Gate Pertaining to Scams in General

Although the articles listed below were written prior to the the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, some of them may also potentially be of help in preventing yourself from being scammed:

Other Articles From The Gate Pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…

…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:

Summary

At the time this article was written, at least 85,522 people — or slightly greater than 5.95 percent — have died of the minimum of 1,436,198 confirmed cases worldwide, according to this situation dashboard from the World Health Organization pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

I firmly believe that the current madness pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic will eventually subside — but please do not let impatience and desperation compel you to act in a manner which may potentially be detrimental to you…

…and that especially includes being fooled by a scammer or a criminal. Nefarious people will do insidious acts against anyone — including truly frail and fragile people in our society — to profit in any way possible.

That anyone should even have to be concerned about the actions of scammers and criminals during a historical period of time — when we are all supposed to be “all in this together” — is truly despicable, deplorable, demeaning, degrading, and disgusting.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “5 Ways to Prevent Yourself From Being Scammed During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic”

  1. Luke Shaw says:

    You’re right. Don’t let fraudsters exploit COVID-19 fears. Please Stay home. Wash your hands. Try protecting yourself from scams.

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