FBI sees rise in fraud related to coronavirus pandemic

(Source: MGN)
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(WVLT) -- Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said scammers are leveraging the coronavirus pandemic to steal money and personal information from the public.

The FBI warned the public to protect themselves and do research before clicking on links that claim to provide information about coronavirus, donating to charity purchasing products or giving personal information to receive benefits.

The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following:

Fake CDC emails
Watch out for emails claiming to be from the CDC or other organizations claiming to offer information on the coronavirus. FBI officials said, do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize.

Scammers can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be aware of websites claiming to track coronavirus cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received, according to the FBI.

Phishing Emails
FBI officials said people should be on the lookout for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check form the government. While there has been talk of economic stimulus checks, 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 funds
-Fake cures and vaccines
-Fake testing kits

Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment
The FBI said people should be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure coronavirus. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products, gloves, face masks and protective gowns.

If you are looking for accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, the CDC has posted extensive guidance and information that is updated frequently. The best sources for authoritative information on COVID-19 are www.cdc.gov and www.coronavirus.gov. People may also consult their primary care physician for guidance.

The FBI said the following tips can help protect people and help stop criminal activity:

-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 cybercrime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

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