Coronavirus Scams: Don’t Fall for the Tricks & Keep Your Money
The COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic has quickly become a global crisis. Yet, many are trying to exploit the situation and take advantage of unsuspecting people. For the past 24 years, The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani has helped clients during traumatic times. While we’re navigating uncharted territory, we’re here to help our SoCal family, including the elderly and our more at-risk clients. Our top priority remains to help people and alleviate the stress as much as possible. If you’ve fallen victim to a scam during the current outbreak, call 844-24-JACOB and we’ll do everything we can to help.
The most recent coronavirus scams that have been reported include:
- Twitter messages promising free iPhone 11 smartphones to help those who are quarantined at home, as revealed by U.S. Rep. Katie Porter on March 16.
- Android-based texts that promise to share data about coronavirus, but instead install malware that uses your smartphone camera, microphone, and text messages to spy on you.
- Text messages that promote payday loans, breaking news alerts, and links to a fake Fox News site that promotes a cure for the virus with CBD oil; messages include options to sign up and buy the product, with no promise a consumer would receive it.
- Kenneth Copeland, a controversial televangelist, claimed to heal viewers of COVID-19 through their TVs during a broadcast earlier this month. Similarly, Alex Jones (InfoWars radio host and conspiracy theorist) claimed his dietary supplements, creams, and toothpaste could treat the virus, prompting the New York State attorney general to issue a cease-and-desist order.
- Phishing emails have claimed to be coming from the World Health Organization, which does not send emails with “@who.com”, “@who.org”, or “@who-safety.org” addresses. Similar emails have claimed to come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well.
Scammers are costing victims big money. According to a Reuters report, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau revealed UK citizens lost $1 million to scammers in February alone.
Tips to Keep the Scammers at Bay
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recommended hanging up on robocalls to avoid coronavirus scams. Online offers for vaccinations and home test kits should be ignored, as should information from scammers and sources other than federal, state, and local government agencies. Also, be wary of online sellers claiming to have high-demand products. Don’t respond to emails and texts claiming to have information on government checks, avoid clicking on links from suspicious sources, and do your research when donating to charities.
What the Government Is Doing to Keep You Safe
Recently, the FTC and FDA sent a joint warning regarding sellers of misbranded or unapproved products, including The Jim Bakker Show; N-Ergetics; Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd; Herbal Amy, Inc.; Vital Silver; GuruNanda, LLC; and Vivify Holistic Clinic. A warning was also issued through the United States Department of Justice on March 18, in which an attorney with the Eastern District of Virginia revealed examples of different COVID-19 scams. In addition, local law enforcement agencies have issued warnings, including Jefferson County, Iowa, where officials warned of scams targeting seniors more at risk of being afflicted by serious illness.
Contact Jacob Emrani for Help
As we all do our part to protect ourselves from coronavirus and flatten the curve to curb the pandemic, The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani is here to help protect you from scams and losing your money. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney can provide help and advice as well as answers to all your questions. And if you’ve suffered serious losses or damages, or a personal injury, we’ll fight to get the compensation you deserve.