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Coronavirus Scams: BBB Issues Warning About Vaccine Claims, Mask Sales

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Better Business Bureau is warning the public that scammers will try and take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. Scammers can go after your personal and financial information text messages, social media, email, and phone calls.

According to the BBB, there have been multiple different scams appearing as:

  • False claims about a coronavirus cure on social media. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. "Consumers should be reluctant to believe personal testimonials and 'miracle' product claims. Be suspicious of products that claim to immediately cure a wide range of diseases. No one product could be effective against a long, varied list of conditions or diseases."
  • Sales of masks, disinfecting supplies and other essentials. Masks do not help protect members of the public from the virus. "Masks are sold out and scammers are creating phony websites selling supplies. However, victims are providing personal information and never receive what they purchase or receive low-quality products."
  • Impersonating the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government entities.

"Scammers know that fear gets people to click and engage on phony websites. With local economies being affected, there will be an uptick in crowdfunding campaigns and scammers know this and can easily create fake accounts to persuade donations that do not actually go towards a worthy cause," said the BBB.

Consumers should be skeptical, do extra research, avoid opening emails or links from unknown sources, and ignore online offers for a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have been the victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker.

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