Scammers are using coronavirus pandemic to rip you off


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – No matter how bad times get, there are always people out there trying to take advantage of other people’s misery.

And that is happening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the easiest ways for scammers to reach you is via the internet and they are using it to play on your fears.

An email entitled “Pandemic Survival” contains several links it wants you to click which supposedly contain “secretly withheld information” that you need to know about the virus.

Then, there’s an email touting a miracle virus oil offering protection from the coronavirus.

The BBB of Eastern North Carolina says they are just the same old scams and phishing attempts wrapped in a new package.

“Any email that is saying ‘we have a vaccine’ or something that has links is a scam,” said the BBB’s Alyssa Parker.

You should never click on those links no matter how much they plead with you to “trust me” – as it says in the Pandemic Survival email.

“We urge consumers not to click on those links as well because you may end up infecting your computer with a virus which is also bad,” said Parker.

Travel is being disrupted everywhere and there are some good travel deals out there, but be careful of scammers who will use tricks to create phony travel deals that will make your money disappear.

“A lot of scammers are copying real websites and offering social media ads that are too good to be true,” said Parker.

Before you bite on a website for a cruise or air travel – check the URL.

It needs to begin with HTTPS (The “s” is for secure) and it needs to have a little lock icon preceding the HTTPS which means the site is secure.

If you click on the lock, you’ll see a notice explaining why the connection is safe.

And for goodness sake, make sure any transaction you do is on your credit card not your debit card.

If things change or you’ve got any kind of dispute, the credit card companies have your back.

That’s because credit card companies do dispute resolutions all the time.

You can check the BBB’s Scam Tracker for more late-breaking reports of scams in your area.

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