Watch out for these COVID-19 scams

Scams include fake cures, testing sites, charities

Scammers won’t let a worldwide pandemic stop them from working their schemes, so the Federal Trade Commission is letting the public know about some COVID-19 scams making the rounds.

SAN ANTONIO – Scammers won’t let a worldwide pandemic stop them from working their schemes, so the Federal Trade Commission is letting the public know about some COVID-19 scams making the rounds.

Fake Cures/Treatments

The commission has sent letters to scammers pushing coronavirus treatments and cures, many of which were reported by the public.

The FTC said the sellers peddled everything from teas to essential oils to high doses of vitamin C, all with no evidence that they work against the virus.

Click here to learn more information about these types of scams and how you can report them.

Fake Testing Sites

Another type of scam the FTC is warning about includes fake COVID-19 testing sites. The commission said these sites can look like real testing sites, but watch out because these scammers are taking people’s personal information.

If you think you need to get tested, there are a few things you can do:

  • Ask your doctor about testing or get tested at their practice.
  • Call 311 to find a testing site near you.
  • Visit a Metropolitan Health District testing site.

Click here to learn more information about these types of scams and how you can report them.

Text Message Scams

The FTC says you should also look for scammers who may be targeting you via text message.

If you get messages claiming to be related to the government’s monetary help for people affected by the coronavirus, don’t click on any links or attachments. They could expose your device to malware or get your phone number added to lists that are sold to other scammers.

You should also delete those messages immediately. If you have questions about the federal stimulus payment, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

Charity Scams

The FTC said scammers are targeting generous people by setting up fake charities or pretending to be existing ones.

So how can you make sure your donation goes to the right place?

  • Search online for the charity’s name and the words “scam” or “fraud.”
  • Review the charity’s ratings
  • Check the charity’s registration status with your local charity regulator.

Click here to learn more information about these types of scams and how you can report them.

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To submit your money questions for our KSAT News at 9 “Money: It’s Personal” series, which airs on Tuesday nights, email iherrera@ksat.com with the subject line “Story Idea.”

For more coronavirus coverage from KSAT, click here.


About the Authors:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

Valerie Gomez is the lead video editor and graphic artist for KSAT Explains. Before starting at KSAT in 2017, she worked as a video editor for KENS 5 and KVUE in Austin. She graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a bachelor's in mass communication and is a product of SAISD and the South Side of San Antonio. She loves Jeff Goldblum.