Coronavirus related scams reported by multiple government agencies

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Scammers are using the coronavirus pandemic to get confidential information. People are being targeted by cons posing as contact tracers and marketing false tests, cures or vaccines, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the New York Attorney Generals Office (AG).

No COVID-19 vaccine has yet been approved by the Federal Drug Administration who said in a press release on June 30, they are working with drug manufacturers, increasing efforts to produce a vaccine.

People should not respond to calls, texts, or emails from unknown/suspicious numbers, and shouldn’t give out personal/financial information or make immediate payments especially when pressured the FCC said.

People acting as insurance agents, brokers or companies have been trying to sell people insurance to cover healthcare expenses related to the coronavirus, according to the New York Department of Financial Services. Rescue scams have been targeting homeowners in pre-foreclosure or foreclosure. The scams are “designed to strip a property’s built-up equity or to steal the title outright.”

Reported COVID-19 scams by agency

Federal Communications Commission

Sample scam text

IRS COVID-19 News: Click xxx.xxx/IRS-COVID-19 to register/update your information in order to receive the economic impact payment regardless of your status.

New York Attorney General

  • False medical treatments or testing
  • Phishing by email or text
  • Theft of unemployment benefits

New Yorkers who think they have been the victim of unemployment benefits fraud can fill out a form on the New York Department of Labor’s website or call 1-888-598-2077.

New York Department of Financial Services

  • Deceptive marketing
  • Foreclosure rescue scam
  • Healthcare enrollment scams
  • Product fraud

To file a complaint with the Department of Financial Services go to their website.

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