RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that people pretending to be well-known companies may be trying to scam you out of money. There has been an increase in con artists attempting to offer people fake COVID-19 themed discounts.

These scams often involve receiving a text from what may seem like a common company offering a too good to be true deal. The fake deals could be anything from a free or discounted service to money or gift cards.

The BBB gives the following examples:

  • “COVID-19 REFUND. VERIZON COMPANY is giving out $950 to all users of our Verizon service, If yes kindly text your Verizon”
  • “Due to the pandemic, Hulu is giving everyone a free 1-year subscription to help you stay at home. Get yours here [link].”

The texts could be an attempt to get people to sign into a fake website with their real user ID and password. If scammers get ahold of login information they could make purchases using saved payment methods.

In order to avoid falling victim to these faulty texts the BBB advises consumers to:

  • Be cautious when receiving texts from unknown senders
  • Don’t click on links from strangers
  • Contact the company and confirm deals directly with them before accepting them
  • Install antivirus software on computers and phones