PUBLIC ALERTS ON
COVID-19 SCAMS, FRAUDULENT WEBSITES,
EMAILS AND DONATION REQUESTS
Residents are advised that there have been reports of COVID-19 scams, malicious websites, email schemes, donation solicitations, and suspicious links that have come to the attention of law enforcement and public officials.
The Los Angeles County Chief Information Officer Williams Kehoe stated, “Malicious actors can prey upon those that are distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic and use it to their advantage. The Public needs to be mindful and careful, and avoid websites, phishing emails, and scams that engage people through false information about health crisis and steal personal user information and data. By clicking on fraudulent weblinks, hackers can deliver malware and then gain access to passwords, browsing information, credit card numbers, and other personal information. We all need to stay vigilant.” Residents should also be careful of hackers impersonating public officials and service companies trying to gain your personal information.
Precautionary measures to protect yourself from scams related to COVID-19:
- Independently verify the identity of any company, charity, or individual that contacts you regarding COVID-19.
- Check the websites and email addresses offering information, products, or services related to COVID-19. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov”.
- Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 or requesting your personal information for medical purposes. Legitimate health authorities will not contact the general public this way.
- Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device.
- Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is operating and up to date.
- Research any charities site soliciting donations in connection with COVID-19 before giving any donation. For online resources on donating, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website: www.ftc.gov
- Be wary of any business, charity, or individual requesting payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail. Don’t send money through any of these channels.
- Be wary that scammers going door-to-door asking for donations in cash, Bitcoin, or PayPal. Do not feel intimidated to answer the door of possible solicitors.
Everyone should remain vigilant and take these precautionary measures to avoid being victimized by malicious scammers trying to profit from the COVID-19 crisis.
If you believed you have been scammed, please report to Temple Sheriff’s Station at (626) 285-7171.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 resources, visit the below links:
- County of Los Angeles: www.covid19.lacounty.gov
- County of Los Angeles Public Health: www.publichealth.lacounty.gov
- California Department of Public Health: www.cdph.ca.gov