Herring warns Virginians to avoid scams amid coronavirus fears


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With fear surrounding the coronavirus increasing, scammers are taking the opportunity to target people in a new way.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is bringing the problem to the public’s attention, warning people of scammers looking to seize a new opportunity.

“Unfortunately history tells us it doesn’t take very long after a natural disaster or public health crisis before scammers try to use that to their advantage to try and rip people off,” Herring told 8News on Friday.

Herring said the things people need to lookout for are advertisements trying to sell cures or preventative products against covid-19.

“There’s not a vaccine so if you get something like that, it’s obviously a scam,” Herring explained.

There are also scams from people who appear to be raising money to help coronavirus victims. Other scammers have also be sending unsolicited information from the CDC or other experts asking for money, which Herring called a red flag.

“The CDC is not gonna ever solicit you and demand that you pay the money,” he said. “So, whether it’s a government agency or a company that everyone is familiar with, always go directly to the company’s website yourself rather than respond to a request like that.”

Although these scams have yet to hit Virginia, Herring said they know these scams are already out online.

“It’s just a matter of time before they start to proliferate, some people are going to be fooled by them and that’s why we’re working extra hard to get the word out to Virginians so that they don’t become victimized by a scam like this,” Herring urged.

Herring told 8News that in most instances people assume those who are targeted by these scammers are older people, but he shared that these scams impact people of any age.


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