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Scams – COVID-19-Issues

Last updated April 6, 2020

COVID-19 Related Scams – General Information

Information from the San Diego Sheriff about the different types of COVID-19 related scams, including links to the FBI, California Attorney General’s Office and Federal Trade Commission for more information:

https://www.sdsheriff.net/financial/

 

COVID-19 Related Scams – Fraudulent Treatment Products

Food and Drug Administration information about fraudulent/unapproved COVID-19 related products, with links to warning letters that have been issued:

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/health-fraud-scams/fraudulent-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-products

Federal Trade Commission warning about scam Coronavirus treatments:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/03/ftc-fda-warnings-sent-sellers-scam-coronavirus-treatments?fbclid=IwAR0QyxHVPeWBnCQFv9rCpDxWDsHaY27JMj5wUjdWSdXyHobs314DNqGH4VM

 

Tips for Avoiding COVID-19 Scams

Tips from the Federal Trade Commission:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/02/coronavirus-scammers-follow-headlines

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/03/socially-distancing-covid-19-robocall-scams?utm_source=govdelivery

Tips from the Federal Communications Commission:

https://www.fcc.gov/covid-scams

From the Treasury Department – what to do if you receive communications offering COVID-19 related grants or payments in exchange for a fee or personal information (this is a scam):

https://home.treasury.gov/services/report-fraud-waste-and-abuse/covid-19-scams

Tips from the Better Business Bureau:

https://www.bbb.org/council/coronavirus/

Defending Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams – Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/03/06/defending-against-covid-19-cyber-scams

Tips from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department:

https://lasd.org/coronavirus-scams/

Tips from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation:

This article is from 2014 but is relevant to avoiding scams in the current situation.

https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnsum14/profit.html

Tips from StaySafeOnline.org:

COVID-19 Security Resource Library

How to Make a Complaint – COVID-19 Related Scams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a complaint to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by calling their hotline at 866-720-5721 or emailing them at disaster@leo.gov (any type of fraud related to COVID-19 or Coronavirus).

https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus#reportfraud

Make a complaint to the FTC (malicious emails/pfishing scams, miracle treatment claims, charity scams):

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

Make a complaint to the California Attorney General’s Office (price gouging):

https://www.oag.ca.gov/consumers

Make a complaint to the FBI (Internet related scams):

https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

Make a complaint to the San Diego City Attorney (False Advertising/Dangerous Products):

https://www.sandiego.gov/cityattorney/protections

Information about how to report price gouging and scams in San Diego County from the City Attorney’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, and U.S. Attorney’s Office:

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/nr200323a.pdf

Price Gouging   

FAQ’s About Price Gouging including how to report it– California Attorney General:

https://oag.ca.gov/consumers/pricegougingduringdisasters

San Diego District Attorney’s Office – Price gouging and how to report it:

https://danewscenter.com/news/report-price-gouging-during-coronavirus (English)

http://danewscenter.com/news/fiscal%C3%ADa-advierte-sobre-el-incremento-de-precios-durante-estado-de-emergencia (Spanish)

Reporting Price Gouging to the Better Business Bureau:

https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/21761-bbb-alert-coronavirus-price-gouging-is-up-report-inflated-prices-to-bbb-ad-truth

California Price Gouging Statute:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=396&lawCode=PEN

A compilation of price gouging statutes nationwide:

https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/price-gouging-state-statutes.aspx

News Stories About COVID-19 Scams

Price Gouging in San Diego County:

https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/eight-san-diego-county-residents-arrested-accused-of-price-gouging-during-emergency

Coronavirus Scams in East Bay:

https://patch.com/california/alameda/coronavirus-scams-have-begun-east-bay-police

Warning About Door-To-Door Coronavirus Scam:

https://www-1.fresnobee.com/news/coronavirus/article241321556.html#

Warning About Cyber Scams:

https://wgntv.com/news/coronavirus/secret-service-warns-of-cyber-scams-during-covid-19-outbreak/

Pfishing Alert from Secret Service:

https://www.secretservice.gov/data/press/releases/2020/20-MAR/Secret_Service_Coronavirus_Phishing_Alert.pdf

Warning About Emails Claiming to be from WHO:

https://www.who.int/about/communications/cyber-security

Seven Coronavirus Scams Targeting Your Business, From the FTC:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/03/seven-coronavirus-scams-targeting-your-business

California Man Arrested for”Fake Cure” Related Scam:

Los Angeles Man Accused Of Soliciting Investments For Fake Coronavirus Cure