HOUSTON - “Coronavirus is very much in the news,” said Leah Napoliello from the Better Business Bureau of Houston. “Scammers are going to use whatever is in the news as a way to perpetuate their scam.”
Right now there are fake websites online selling cleaning products, soap, and masks. However, according to experts, some of these websites have no intention of delivering the products.
“[People] go to these sites they’ve never heard of before and they purchase the masks,” said Napoliello. “They never receive them.”
According to members of the Federal Trade Commission, legitimate companies are also trying to take advantage of consumers. Some companies are using online advertisements with claims of having methods of preventing COVID-19.
“The advertising claims that these companies are making are unlawful,” said Michael Davis, an attorney with the FTC. “There’s no proven cure and there are no products that are proven to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”
“Don’t just buy from a site you’ve never heard of before,” said Napoliello.
Trustwave.com has examples of some recent scams that were sent to people through email. Some of the email scams try to portray government agencies.
“You just want to be hesitant,” said Napoliello. “Don’t click any links from someone that you don’t know, or you’re not sure if it’s really a government agency.”