The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a Coronavirus scam. The BBB says that the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. has resulted in scammers taking advantage of fears about the illness.
“Look out for fake cures, phony prevention measures, and other coronavirus cons,” warned Jim Hegarty, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Nebraska and Southwest Iowa.
Hegarty says as an example a scam email claims that the government has discovered a vaccine but is keeping it secret for “security reasons.” "You figure it can't hurt to give the medicine a try, so you get out your credit card."
Currently, there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent coronavirus, although treatments are in development.
No approved vaccines, drugs, or products specifically for coronavirus can be purchased online or in stores,” Hegarty says.
He says peddling phony medicines isn't the only way scammers are trying to cash in on coronavirus fears. Con artists are impersonating the CDC and the World Health Organization in phishing emails.
These messages claim to have news about the disease and prompt readers to download malicious software. Another scam email tries to con people into donating to a fake fundraising effort, claiming to be a government program to develop a coronavirus vaccine.