COVID-19: Avoiding Scams and Disinformation

Scammers are going to try and take advantage of fear and panic during the COVID-19 pandemic. The best thing you can do is be smart, and follow trusted official sources for information about how to stay safe and access relief resources.

Trusted sources for updates on COVID-19 and ways to keep you and your family safe are the CDC webpage found here and the Virginia Department of Health site found here.

The Federal Trade Commission has a list of good practices to avoid scammers and disinformation:

  • Hang up on robocalls and don’t press any buttons. These are illegally used by scammers frequently.

  • Ignore online offers for COVID-19 vaccinations or home test kits.

  • Know who you’re buying from online, especially for in-demand products.

  • Fact-check information claiming to be from the CDC or other health officials. The CDC website, WHO website, and Virginia Department of Health website will have the most up-to-date information.

  • Don’t ever click links from sources you don’t know.

  • Look into charities or crowdfunding sites before donating. Scammers will often try to solicit donations in cash, gift cards, or by wire transfer.

  • The government will not charge you to receive a stimulus payment.

FEMA also has a list of debunked COVID-19 rumors which you can read here.