Knoxville FBI warns of scams related to novel coronavirus


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 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.

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