Scammers prey on COVID-19 fears

A Houston couple says they were robbed of jewelry by men posing as utility workers who said their water was contaminated with COVID-19.

Cher Comier says two men posing as city water workers said they needed to clean her water for COVID-19.  Having washed her hands wearing her jewelry, they convinced her to let them clean her Rolex watch and wedding rings. Then they ran with them, she said.

Cormier reported it to the Constable, but no leads yet.

And that's not the only COVID-19 scam to watch out for.  The FBI is warning you to watch for fake antibody tests. The scammers are really looking to steal your name, birthdate, social security number, and medical insurance, says cybersecurity expert Adam Levin, founder of CyberScout and

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"What they're trying to do is get you to give up as much information about yourself as possible. They want you to agree to take a test that may not be FDA sanctioned. You may even end up with fake results," said Levin.

The FBI says don't fall for tests advertised on social media or email.  FDA verified tests are listed on the FDA website.

The Federal Trade Commission is also warning about scammers posing as contact tracers. Real tracers are tracking who has been in contact with someone with the virus.


"If they call you and ask you anything other than to confirm your birthdate, and give you information other than perhaps ask you what your symptoms are, hang up immediately," said Levin. 

A fake contact tracer will ask you for financial information or to download something that's really malware.  You can verify a contact tracer by calling your local health department.
Levin recommends the following steps to protect yourself from cyber crimes: use two-factor authentication, use long complicated passwords, update security on your devices, back up your data, freeze your credit, and check your credit and medical bills for fraud.

If you've been scammed, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI, or report it on