Police in New Philadelphia warned residents across Schuylkill County to be aware of possible scammers going door-to-door offering free home tests for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
They say law enforcement and the American Red Cross have been made aware of this activity in some areas. Authorities are urging residents in Schuylkill County not to fall for it.
“When permitted, they do the pretend test and charge for it or rob (people who accept the offer),” New Philly PD says in a social media post recently.
They add, “If someone like this comes to your door, do not all them into your home and call the police. Advise your family to be on the alert.”
Coronavirus Scams Popping Up Locally and Online
We’ve seen scams pop up during emergencies and following disasters in the past. And this won’t be the last potential scam perpetrated from the coronavirus outbreak.
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission warns of other potential scams that are or may be happening right now. The FTC advises you to:
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links online: Some sources you’ve never heard of (NOT The Canary) may, in fact, be links that prompt malware or ransomware. If you click the link, it downloads harmful files to your computer, rendering it useless unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price — literally, a ransom — to unlock it. And often, that ransom is a scam.
- Ignore emails purportedly from the CDC and other “experts”: For up-to-date information from the government, go directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
- Don’t fall for online offers for vaccines: No vaccine currently exists and if there was, you aren’t going to get an email about it. Also, offers for purported remedies to coronavirus are likely fake. “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores,” the FTC says.
- Donate carefully: Several drives have started locally and nationally to help people adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, particularly seniors and people facing uncertain financial futures. Avoid charity drives willing to take cash, gift cards, or wired money. Do your homework!