Better Business Bureau warns consumers about coronavirus scams

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Getting sick isn’t the only threat from coronavirus. Local and government officials are warning the public to be vigilant of scams.

The Hampton Roads Better Business Bureau said this is something that unfortunately happens anytime there’s a crisis.

From robocalls to phishing, scammers are trying to cash in on COVID-19.

10 On Your Side spoke with a Virginia Beach woman who was targeted by phone.

Deborah Billing is in the high-risk category for coronavirus. She was self-isolating at home when she got an automated call that immediately raised a red flag. 

“It said ‘We’re mailing the Coronoavirus test kits to your home, press 1 if you’d like to receive one in the mail,’” Billing recalled. 

Billing didn’t fall for it, but she worries others might. 

“My first thought was ‘Oh what if that phone call went to my neighbor next door?’ She’s in her 80s,” she said. 

The BBB said people are working to capitalize on coronavirus. The agency said it’s been getting many calls reporting price gouging, fake charities, and robocalls about government relief checks.

“People are saying to consumers ‘Oh you may be qualifying for $1,000 up to $14,000. Just give us your personal information and we’ll check and see what you are getting,’” said Jamie Howell, marketing and communications manager for Hampton Roads BBB.

Even North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein was the target of an email phishing scam.

“The one that was promising a miracle cure I received this morning. I don’t think they were stealing, trying to get my money. It wanted me to click on an attachment so they could steal my personal information,” Stein said. 

The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers, saying the government will not call to ask for personal information

The BBB also warns consumers not to believe everything they see on the internet. 

“Anything that is in high demand right now, there is probably a website that is illegitimate looking to get your money,” Howell said. 

Scammers are also preying on people’s fears by promising miracle cures for coronavirus

However, officials are reminding the public there is no cure or vaccine at the moment. 

For more tips on what to look out for, click here: http://bbb.org/coronavirus.


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