Live 5 Scambusters: Robocall scams offer fake coronavirus tests, personal protection equipment
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - While you're sitting at home social distancing yourself, scammers are calling to offer "help" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Robocall scammers have shifted their focus to the coronavirus and are offering access to free test kits or personal protection equipment.
Here’s an example of one scam call reported to the Federal Communications Commission:
“The coronavirus has caused the US to declare a national emergency. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has made coronavirus testing more accessible immediately. If you want to receive a free testing kit delivered overnight to your home, press one.”
While coronavirus testing is ramping up around the country, the FCC says these robocall scams are increasing as well. The robocall blocking website NoMoRobo has an entire page online featuring common robocall scams targeting the coronavirus.
Here’s an example of one call offering testing kits:
“This is a courtesy call from 3M’s safety program to inform you that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has authorized our laboratories to offer you the safety and medical kit, which at this moment are sold out in the market. We are giving you the priority to have access to the supplies needed before the states lock down."
NoMoRobo also features another call claiming to be from the fictitious Worldwide Health Organization. This call offers people the chance to obtain personal protection equipment for their family:
“Greetings. This is an automated message alert from the Worldwide Health Organization to inform you about the E.P.A.'s Emerging Viral Pathogen Program for the coronavirus protection. We offer you the opportunity to obtain the most powerful and secure protection equipment to protect yourself and all of your family members.”
The best protection you have right now is to continue social distancing, washing your hands, and hanging up the phone when these calls come in.
If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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