Federal state and local law enforcement officials have seen a rise in scams linked to the coronavirus outbreak recently.
Local officials said in recent days for consumers to be aware of such scam attempts as reports have come into the Bucks County Consumer Protection Department.
Bucks County residents can file local consumer complaints online by filling out this form.
The FBI said in Public Service Announcement “scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both.”
Federal officials warn of the potential hazards by being on on the lookout for the following types of scams:
Fake CDC Emails
Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to:
- Charitable contributions
- General financial relief
- Airline carrier refunds
- Fake cures and vaccines
- Fake testing kits
Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment
Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves.
- Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don’t recognize.
- Do not provide your username, password, date of birth, social security number, financial data, or other personal information in response to an email or robocall.
- Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
- Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a “.gov” ends in .com” instead).
If you believe you are the victim of an Internet scam or cyber crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Additionally, Bucks County Director Michael Bannon said his department’s hotline at 1-800-942-2669 has been busy with calls from concerned residents, business owners and employers with questions and concerns about the shutdown. He urged any business owners who are unsure which category their business fits into to visit Department of Community and Economic Development or the most updated information also.