Be wary of would-be scammers

Published 8:09 am Saturday, April 4, 2020

In these difficult times when there are so many people helping others, unfortunately, there are crooks at work scamming unsuspecting victims in the name of the novel coronavirus.

(…) The FBI Cleveland Office is telling people to protect themselves and to research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.

(…) U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, joined 33 senators March 27 urging Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons to protect seniors from coronavirus-related scams.

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(…) At this time of heightened public fears, the senators wrote that reports have highlighted that scams pertaining to the coronavirus are increasing, and that seniors — arguably the most vulnerable population to both the coronavirus and bad actors — are targeted with calls telling them that the COVID-19 vaccination is ready when no such treatment currently exists.

The letter states that other reports have outlined how scammers have gone to the homes of elderly people to administer fake tests while also charging them and obtaining their social security numbers.

Although the Federal Trade Commission has sent warning letters to seven sellers of fraudulent COVID-19 treatments, the senators are concerned that further action is needed to protect the financial well-being of seniors — who lose an estimated $3 billion annually from financial scams.

These tricksters are all around us.

Be careful.

— The Lorain Morning Journal