KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Scams related to the coronavirus pandemic are on the rise across the nation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning people to stay vigilant.
According to the FBI, the three most common form of scams to look out for are fake CDC emails, phishing emails, and cybercriminals appearing to sell counterfeit treatments or equipment.
Special agent in charge of the FBI Knoxville Field Office Joe Carrico says the best way to protect yourself is to verify the source and to avoid clicking on a link or attachment when you receive an email, even if it appears to come from someone you know or trust.
According to the FBI, common scams in the form of phishing emails includes:
- Charitable contributions
- General financial relief
- Airline carrier refunds
- Fake cures and vaccines
- Fake testing kits
Carrico says, “If you’re looking to buy any medical equipment, or any type of treatment, that you’re utilizing the CDC.gov and the World Health Organization.”
If you receive a phone call asking for donations or personal information, do not engage in the call.
Instead, he suggests telling the person you will call them back and utilize your resources to verify where that number is coming from, even if it’s an organization you’re familiar with.
And if you’d like to make a donation to an organization in need, Carrico suggests going to the site directly.
While Carrico says there has not been a significant uptick in East Tennessee yet, “always be cautious of any email you receive and verify that it came from the entity that you believe it did.”
If you have encountered a scam or have fallen victim, you can file a complaint at the Internet Crime Complaint Center .
For more tips on how to protect your personal information from cybercriminals click here.
- Coronavirus Timeline: March 2020
- CHART: Tennessee Department of Health’s count of coronavirus cases by day in state
- Coronavirus in Tennessee: 1,537 COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths in state, Department of Health reports
- US warship captain seeks crew isolation as virus spreads
- Coronavirus: Sevier County now offering COVID-19 testing
- Coronavirus: New drive-thru testing site open in Greene County
- Lee: More information to be released on COVID-19 deaths
- Tracking Coronavirus: Masks — who needs them, who doesn’t
- Knox County Health Department issues new guidelines for food trucks
- TN National Guard nurses step in amid COVID-19 outbreak at Gallatin nursing home
- Coronavirus Timeline: April 2020
- Coronavirus: Knoxville driver takes safety precautions amid COVID-19 pandemic
- Should you wear mask in public if not sick with coronavirus?
- Holyoke community left with more questions than answers in death of 13 veterans at Soldiers’ Home
- VIDEO: Husband sings through Bay Minette nursing home window to his 83-year-old wife