Live 5 Scambusters: Scammers create new coronavirus danger

Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 7:16 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Scammers following the headlines are creating another danger with the coronavirus.

From misleading claims about coronavirus protection to government imposter fraud, scam artists are trying to take advantage of the crisis.

Because of a shortage of medical supplies, hand sanitizer or even toilet paper, be careful of websites that look legitimate and claim to special offers on these out-of-stock products.

Legitimate companies have already been reprimanded for trying to sell products marketed to treat or prevent coronavirus. These companies make bold claims in online advertisements. The Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration sent letters to seven companies and ordered them to remove the claims. The FDA says there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or products to treat or prevent the virus.

You may even encounter situations like this in person. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office shared a warning on Facebook about two men going door-to-door to sell cleaning products they claimed would stop the coronavirus.

Communities around the country have even issued warnings about door-to-door scammers offering in-home testing for coronavirus. That is also fake.

Finally, the FTC put out a warning about potential scams targeting stimulus checks from the federal government.

The FTC says:

  • You won't have to pay fees or charges to get the money. If you do it's a scam.
  • The government won't call and ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
  • Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at

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