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Law enforcement warns of coronavirus-related scams

Scammers using the coronavirus crisis to take advantage of people in more ways than one, including asking for "donations" through phone, app, e-mail and text.

GLOUCESTER, Va. — Authorities are warning people not to fall for scams where people ask for hospital payments or "donations" in the form of money during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Gloucester Sheriff Darrell Warren released information on the latest scams people should be aware of:

  • Treatment Scam: Scammers are offering to sell fake cures, vaccines and advice on unproven treatments for the coronavirus.
  • Supply Scam: This is when scammers call, e-mail or place advertisements saying they have medical products in stock.
  • Provider Scam: Scammers are contacting people pretending to be doctors and hospital medical staffers that have treated a friend or relative for coronavirus and demand payments for their treatment.
  • Charity Scam: Scammers solicit donations for individuals, groups and areas affected by the coronavirus. He urges residents to only donate to a reputable organization that they are familiar with.
  • Phishing Scam: Scammers are posing as health authorities from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and are sending phishing e-mails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware or providing personal identifying and financial information.
  • App Scam: Scammers are creating and manipulating mobile apps designed to track the spread of the coronavirus to insert malware that will compromise users’ devices and personal information.
  • Investment Scam: Scammers offer online promotions to get you to buy stocks, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure the coronavirus, and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

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