In the wake of this vulnerable time, fraudsters and cyber criminals have been taking advantage of peoples’ fears. As your safety remains our priority, we’re committed to sharing all the information we have about COVID19 when we receive it. Below are two of our latest updates.
Fraudulent Virus Testing
There have been recent reports of individuals visiting residences, claiming to be home-testing for COVID19. These scammers arrive wearing masks, gloves and white lab coats, impersonating members from the Department of Health or the Center for Disease Control.
Please be aware that representatives from either organization would never show-up unannounced or unsolicited at peoples’ residences. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that there are no FDA-approved at-home coronavirus tests available in the U.S., and that kits claiming to be such are fraudulent.
Illicit Financial Activity Related to COVID19
Additionally, there have been reports of illicit financial activity related to the disease. These sophisticated tactics include Imposter Scams, Investment Scams and Product Scams.
- Imposter Scams are when fraudsters attempt to solicit donations and steal personal information. It could also include the distribution of malware by impersonating government affiliates or agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), healthcare organizations or international agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Investment Scams include promotions that falsely claim products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect or cure coronavirus.
- Product Scams are misbranded products that make false health claims about the virus. There have also been reports of fraudulent marketing for supplies such as certain facemasks. Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the FDA have issued public statements and warning letters to companies for selling these products.
Insider Trading related to the virus is being carefully monitored by authorities. There have also been attempts of spreading misinformation about benefits, charities and cyber-related fraud.
Steps You Can Take
- Don’t answer the door for anyone claiming to be from a government agency, unless you were already notified.
- Don’t click on links from sources that you don’t know. Organizations like the CDC and WHO are not going to solicit you out of the blue.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19. We are monitoring the State of NH Health Department, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
- Be alert to fake “investment opportunities” related to promotions claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
Please contact us or local law enforcement if you are concerned that you may have fallen victim to a COVID-19 scam, so that we can assist you with protecting your accounts and identity.