Scam Alert: Coronavirus “cure” is a con


A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Many people will hear about products claiming to prevent or “cure” the virus on social media, in an email or a website.

Be wary of personal testimonials and “miracle” claims
The message or website contains a lot of information about this “miracle” product, including convincing testimonials or a conspiracy theory backstory. The Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are reporting one scam email that claims the government has discovered a vaccine but is keeping it secret for “security reasons.”

Currently there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved vaccines, drugs or products to prevent coronavirus, although treatments are in development.

Nature may not nurture
Just because it’s natural does not mean it’s good for you and definitely does not mean the same thing as safe.

“What’s up doc?”
If you’re tempted to buy an unproven product or one with questionable claims, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.

Think before you link
Con artists are also impersonating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the World Health Organization in phishing emails. These messages claim to have news about the disease and prompt readers to download malicious software.

Don’t put too much stock in “investment opportunities”
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, 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.

Do your homework before you donate
Another scam email tries to con people into donating to a fake fundraising effort, claiming to be a government program working to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

Cover yourself from face mask scams
“As you strive to keep yourself and loved ones healthy, be sure to also watch out for counterfeit face masks,” says the BBB.

While wearing a face mask may seem like an easy way to stop coronavirus from spreading, the Centers for Disease Control does not actually recommend it for the general public.

For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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