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BBB Alert: Coronavirus Continues to be a Scam Favorite

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BBB Alert: Coronavirus Continues to be a Scam Favorite

Nashville, TN., Feb. 11, 2020-  As the recent outbreak of coronavirus continues to escalate, many people are talking about prevention and treatment and even promoting products. Reports on coronavirus in the Wuhan region of China have already sparked social media scams targeting Chinese-Australian citizens, BBB officials said.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Middle TN and Southern KY said consumers should watch out for con artists claiming to have vaccines, prevention products like masks, and tips. “Con artists are always looking for ways to use today’s top news stories to take advantage of people,” said Robyn Householder, BBB Middle TN and Southern KY president and CEO. “Some of the first scams to exploit fears about coronavirus have been fake websites selling masks in hopes of stealing your identity.”
Emails and posts about coronavirus may be promoting prevention and awareness tactics, but also false information about cases in your neighborhood. They even may be asking you to donate to victims, offering advice on unproven treatments, or contain malicious email attachments.
BBB tips to avoid coronavirus-related scams:
  • Avoid opening emails from an unknown source. Do not click on links in the body of the email or open any attachments. Delete the email. If you suspect that it is a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker.
  • Disregard online offers for vaccinations against coronavirus because a vaccine does not exist.
  • Check and update your antivirus and anti-malware programs. Preventative measures of making sure software on your computer are up to date, and all operating system security patches have been installed can be a massive headache. Still, it can save you a lot of time later. If your computer becomes infected as the result of a spam email about coronavirus, you can report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
  • Check with the experts. Free information on the virus, the outbreak, and preventive measures are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
For more tips, visit BBB.org, and if a scam artist contacts you, report it to BBB.org/scamtracker.

About BBB of Middle Tennessee

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Middle TN and Southern KY, which was founded in 1961 and serves 45 counties in Middle TN and Southern KY. Visit bbb.org for more information.