Scammers changing tactics amid COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Consumer advocates are warning that COVID-19 related scams are on the rise.

Scammers are preying on people’s fears, trying to cash in and according to experts at the Upstate Better Business Bureau, they won’t be stopping soon.

“We’ve received calls from consumers saying, ‘hey I got this call about a grant to help fight the coronavirus‘ or that ‘I need to add extra coverage on my insurance‘ because of the coronavirus,” said Communications Director, Melanie McGovern.

Those are just two of the scams the BBB has heard about.

One of the most popular online scams offers treatment for COVID-19 or promises a “miracle cure” that health experts have said does not exist.

“Scams rely on having a convincing story and public health scares are usually a very effective theme for con artists,” said Consumer Reports Programs Director Chuck Bell.

“The biggest thing that we need from the public is just for them to let us know so we can let other people know,” McGovern added.

People can report suspicious phone calls and questionable emails to the Better Business Bureau online or by calling 1-800-828-5000.

You can also monitor the latest scams in Upstate NY with the BBB’s Scam Tracker.


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