The Morgantown Police Department would like to remind citizens to be cautious of fraud and scams regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and is offering tips for citizens to protect themselves online and on the phone.
In a press release the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicates it has seen an increase of online fraud schemes related to COVID-19. These fraudulent messages typically fall under one of these categories:
- Fake CDC emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus;
- Phishing emails asking you to verify personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government, or other entities like fake cures and vaccines or testing kits;
- Messages claiming to treatment or equipment such as a COVID-19 vaccination, gloves, respirators, or face masks.
The Morgantown Police Department also recommends following these tips to protect yourself from all forms of email scams:
- Do not click on links within an email unless you are certain of the sender’s identity;
- Do not open attachments within an email unless you are certain of the sender’s identity;
- Do not provide personal information such as your social security number, date of birth, or financial data in an email or over a phone call; and
- Always verify the web address by manually typing them into your browser.
If you believe you are a victim of an internet scam or cyber crime or you would like to report suspicious activity, please visit the FCC website, or contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov