Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus scare to steal money, warns Augusto Beato, who heads an SEO Portland firm.
Beato based his warning on various statements, including that of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who said that scammers could be asking for donations to help coronavirus victims, provide advice on untested coronavirus treatments, or send phony information through social media.
"Be wary of fake products or phony stock deals that are designed to steal money and personal information," added Beato, who is the CEO of Portland SEO.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made a similar warning against investment schemes that will supposedly help stop the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the SEC, some companies may make inaccurate or unreliable claims that buyers would not be able to sell if the trading in the company is eventually suspended.
"Stock prices may be boosted by spreading false rumors. The crooks would then sell the stock before the hype ends," noted Beato. "Soon, the stock price tumbles and innocent purchasers would end up holding the bag."
The Federal Trade Commission also warned against fake charities or crowdfunding sites asking for help in funding research or helping in the treatment of coronavirus victims.
"Don't let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don't do it," the FTC warns.
The FTC added that people should be extra careful if the emails come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that criminals are disguising themselves as WHO representatives to steal money or sensitive information.
According to the WHO, they will never:
-ask to log in to view safety information
-tell anyone to open email attachments they didn't request for
-prompt visitors to visit other websites outside of www.who.int
-charge money for job application, conference registrations, tor hotel reservations
-use email to conduct lotteries or offer funding, grants, certificates, or prizes
-make funding appeals or ask donations directly to emergency response plans
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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