COVID-19 fraud tips

woman with mask at computer

As a part of Homeland Security’s Operation Stolen Promise, here’s some information about detecting scams related to COVID-19. This information has to do with scams that are related to online shopping, financial, and medical scams. See the full graphic here. Go to their website to find out more about Operation Stolen Promise.  

Online shopping tips and red flags:

  • If you didn’t sign up for emails or texts updates, don’t click on any links.
  • Make sure you are on the actual site you are buying from. Try finding the referenced page via Google. Make sure they look similar.
  • Verify that it is a secure site. Most browsers display a green lock next to the URL.
  • If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

Financial scam tips and red flags:

  • Services offering loans, debt relief, or related services might try and take advantage of people during this time.
  • If an organization is asking for an unusual payment method (like cryptocurrency), it is probably not a legitimate service.
  • Government agencies will send you physical mail. They will not text, call, or email you.
  • Go directly to government websites if you have questions.

Medical Scam tips:

  • There is not a cure for COVID-19 yet, so don’t trust websites claiming there is.
  • Do not buy medicine off social media or from third parties that aren’t pharmacies.
  • Watch out for products that are misspelled or in a different language.
  • People may try to get your banking information for products related to COVID-19.

How to Report Fraud

If you hear or any fraud related to COVID-19, please report it to covid19fraud@dhs.gov. Please stay aware and safe during this time.