Gloucester Sheriff Darrell Warren said there are several scams associated with the COVID-19 pandemic that he is encouraging local residents to be aware of.
First is the Treatment Scam. Warren said scammers are offering to sell fake cures, vaccines and advice on unproven treatments for the coronavirus. Next is the Supply Scam. This is when scammers call, email or place advertisements saying they have medical products in stock.
Warren said there is also the Provider Scam. Scammers are contacting people pretending to be doctors and from hospitals that have treated a friend or relative for coronavirus and demanding payments for their treatment.
In the Charity Scam, scammers are soliciting donations for individuals, groups and areas affected by the coronavirus. He urges residents to donate only to a reputable, familiar organization.
A fifth scam Warren pointed out is the Phishing Scam. This means scammers are posing as health authorities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and sending phishing emails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware or providing personal identifying and financial information.
There is also an App Scam in which scammers are creating and manipulating mobile apps designed to track the spread of the coronavirus to insert malware that will compromise users’ devices and personal information.
Finally, there is the Investment Scam. With this one, scammers are offering online promotions to get you to buy stocks, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect or cure the coronavirus, and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
For more information, or if you suspect you are being scammed, call the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 804-693-3890.