SAVANNAH, GA (March 26, 2020) – Savannah Police’s Financial Crimes Unit is raising awareness about potential COVID-19 scams targeting the community.
Amid the economic strain stemming from the impacts of COVID-19, phone scams have surfaced that are targeting consumers. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), there have been reports of scam and hoax text message campaigns and scam robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling health insurance and preying on virus-related fears.
The Financial Crimes Unit offers the following guidance in response to these scams:
- Phishing, Texting and Email Scams
- Do not click on links from sources you do not know. They may allow scammers to download a virus to your computer, which may allow them to access personal information.
- Do not respond to claims of receiving stimulus checks from the government as a stimulus package has not been approved yet.
- Ignore emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. You should visit the official websites for these organizations to obtain up-to-date information on COVID-19.
- Hang up on robocalls!
- Do not press any numbers as this only opens you up to potentially more robocalls and scammers.
- Online Order Scams
- Ignore offers concerning any vaccinations or home test kits. Currently, none have been approved by the FDA.
- Be aware of who you are purchasing things from such as medical and cleaning supplies. Research the company to try and verify if it is a legitimate company.
- Charity Fraud
- Before you donate, research and verify the charity. Look to charities that are local in your community with an established history.
- If you donate, try to avoid using gift cards or wire transfers as this could be a warning sign of a potential scam.
If you have been a victim of an online scam, please go to ftc.gov to file a report. You can also file a report by using the SPD Online Police Reporting System at http://savannahpd.org/online-reporting/.