Below is information from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office — District of Massachusetts:
Middlesex DA’s Tips To Avoid COVID-19 Scams
Scammers and hackers may exploit concerns regarding COVID-19 in order to obtain personal information or demand money. Beware of individuals using fraudulent information.
- Fraudulent texts, emails, social media posts with links for coronavirus information that install malware on a device to steal personal information, including passwords and credit card numbers
- Fraudulent websites related to the virus outbreak, including fake online stores selling protective wear and household supplies
- Fraudulent calls, emails, websites seeking charitable donations
- Communications promoting fraudulent treatment information
- Calls demanding money for treatment for family members with the virus
- Fraudulent communications offering investment advice or information on the economic impact of COVID-19
- Individuals posing as a family member or friend and seeking money for an urgent matter
- Beware of any calls, emails or other communications with “urgent” demands for money or seeking to verify personal information
- Carefully review any emails or correspondence from organizations seeking charitable donations
- Make charitable donations directly on the organization’s website
- Beware of solicitations for money over the phone
- Never send money to a person you do not recognize or cannot verify their identity
- Beware of fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable sources
- Check URL link (official government publications end in .gov), email addresses and spelling errors
- Do not download attachments or click on links in unsolicited emails or from unknown senders
- For updates and new information on COVID-19, the official sources are:
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, contact your local police department.
U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling Issues Stern Warning Regarding Scams and Other Crimes Related to the Covid-19 Outbreak
BOSTON, MA — “As our communities take extraordinary measures to confront the coronavirus outbreak, some may view this as an opportunity to prey on the public’s fears and anxieties. The Department of Justice is now focused on cybercrime, sale of counterfeit goods, treatment scams and other healthcare and investment scams arising from the pandemic. My office will aggressively prosecute anyone engaged in this kind of activity,” said U.S. Attorney Lelling.
“With the outbreak of COVID-19, scammers have found a platform that preys on people’s fears and could make them more likely to be victimized,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “We want you to avoid falling prey to these scams and help us stop them by reporting it at ic3.gov.”
Massachusetts residents who believe they are victims of fraud or other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact the United States Attorney’s Office at USAMA.email@example.com or call 1-888-221-6023 and leave a message. Members of the public can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by visiting www.IC3.gov. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911.
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