Authorities are warning about a variety of scams connected to the coronavirus pandemic, including a new one advising the target they may have come into contact with an infected person.
Police in Thomaston, Maine are reporting a new scam warning the intended victim they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or is showing symptoms for COVID-19. The text message, originating from the 317 area code in the Indianapolis area, asks the person to click a link for more information. Authorities warn you not to click the link as it is likely a scam intended to obtain personal information.
The department wrote: "If you receive a text message like the one pictured below, DO NOT click the link! It is not a message from any official agency. It is however a gateway for bad actors to find their way into your world. The virus is not the only invisible enemy. Be vigilant against all threats!"
The scam is just one of many looking to prey on vulnerable and anxious people during the pandemic.
The Federal Trade Commission offers a variety of resources about potential scams connected to coronavirus.
Among the FTC's warnings:
* Don't respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. Scammers are using the coronavirus relief checks to try to obtain personal information and payments.
* Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home-test kits. No such approved products exist at this time.
* Hang up on robocalls.
The agency has also warned companies against advertising products that claim to protect against or treat coronavirus, as such claims are not supported by scientific evidence or approved by the FDA.
Locally in Los Angeles, city officials are prosecuting several different types of crimes related to the pandemic, including false advertising for supposed cures, price gouging and violations of stay-at-home orders.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer recently settled with a company over claims it misleadingly promoted a product as a home test kit for COVID-19.
Other scams are detailed in the stories below: