Avoid Coronavirus Scams
Beware Phishing & Imposter Attempts
- Be alert for phishing and imposter scams that will typically target you online and through email.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know and watch out for emails that may appear to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Be aware that the Social Security Administration will not suspend or decrease benefit payments due to the pandemic. Any communication you receive that says such is a scam.
- Consumers should also beware of CDC impersonators who may go door-to-door claiming to be from the organization. Report imposters to your local law enforcement.
- For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Don’t Fall for Fake Cures or Fake Checks
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. 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.
- Know that government agencies are NOT sending out emails asking for residents’ personal information in order to receive funds or other pandemic relief opportunities. The federal government's economic impact payment will be distributed automatically. Some seniors and others who typically do not file tax returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. Find the most up-to-date information about the economic impact payment on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. Remember, the government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges.
Do Your Homework on Donations & Purchases
- Research organizations through which you may want to donate. Do not provide cash or gift cards. Do not wire money. If you are being pressured into giving, it’s a scam.
- Before donating, confirm you are dealing with a reputable charity. Helpful resources for charity background information may be found via https://sos.tn.gov/charitable/ and https://www.charitynavigator.org/.
- Use care when shopping online. Research product descriptions and the seller’s history carefully before committing to a purchase.
File A Consumer Complaint
- Report issues of price gouging and fake/misleading product claims and service offers to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs by filing a consumer complaint.
- To file a consumer complaint, click here: https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/working-for-tennessee/consumer/file-a-complaint.html
- If you need assistance with a complaint, please call 615-741-4737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about avoiding Coronavirus scams on the Federal Trade Commission's website.