During this time of crisis, it’s important to be on the alert for those who would attempt to defraud you or your family. Here are some consumer warnings and safety tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.
- Be wary of ads for test kits. Most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA, and aren’t necessarily accurate.
- Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
- Beware of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card or by wiring money.
Reliable Sources of COVID-19 Information
Only rely on trusted sources for information about COVID-19. Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. Here are some good online sources:
- CDC-FEMA COVID-19 site
- U.S. Government Response to COVID-19
- New York State Attorney General COVID-19 site
- New York State Department of Health
If you are a victim of fraud, the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection may be able to help. You can call their Consumer Helpline at 1-800-697-1220 or visit their website.
The National Center for Disaster Fraud, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, is the federal agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting fraud schemes related to natural and man-made disasters. Call 1-866-720-5721.
You can report allegations of fraud involving New York State taxpayer money to the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Call 1-888-672-4555 or report government fraud online.