Scammers are cashing in on the coronavirus pandemic and the fears that Americans may have about the virus.
Police in Thomaston, Maine, took to Facebook this week to warn people that if they receive a text message that says, “Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested.”
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The message also has a link for more information.
🚨🚨SCAM ALERT🚨🚨 If you receive a text message like the one pictured below, DO NOT click the link! It is not a message...Posted by Thomaston Police Department on Wednesday, April 15, 2020
But the text message isn’t the only alleged scam preying on people’s coronavirus fears.
The Federal Communications Commission said there are calls that promise free home testing kits, cures and health insurance.
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The FCC said don’t click on the links. Instead, you should visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest information.
There is even a scam that uses the FCC’s name from a fake FCC Financial Care Center that offers $30,000 relief funding. The FCC does not provide relief money to consumers.
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How can you protect yourself?
The FCC said don’t respond to calls or texts from unknown or suspicious numbers.
Don’t share personal or financial information on email, text or over the phone.
If you feel pressure to act immediately, be cautious.
Be careful of spoofed numbers where someone mimics a known number. Government agencies will not ask for personal information or money.
If a friend sends a text that is out of character, check with them before acting on it, in case they were hacked.
Finally, vet charities before donating. Go directly to a charity’s website to check it out.