Are there scams related to COVID-19 that I should be aware of?
Yes. The FDA has warned that people and companies are trying to profit from this pandemic by selling unproven and illegally marketed products that make false claims. These fraudulent products that claim to cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19 haven’t been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness and might be dangerous to you and your family. For more details, read the FDA's warning HERE.
The Justice Department is also taking action against price gouging and hoarding of the critical supplies we need during this crisis. For more information on this matter, including to report instances of suspected price gouging and hoarding, please click HERE.
Are there scams related to direct payments and loan assistance provided by the CARES Act?
Bad actors may try to use financial assistance provided by the CARES Act to steal money and information from unsuspecting individuals. If you are contacted by someone asking for personal information related to COVID-19 assistance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) encourages you not to provide your Social Security number, bank account number, credit card information, Medicare ID number, or any other personally identifiable information by phone or email.
The Federal Trade Commission, the CFPB, and the Federal Communications Commission have resources to further protect you and your family against scammers. Popular scams include emails impersonating reputable organizations in an attempt to steal personally identifiable information, and phone calls claiming to represent the government and demanding fees related to COVID-19 economic relief checks.
To file a scam call or text complaint, please visit the FCC’s Consumer Complaints website HERE.
The RI Attorney General has also put out guidance on health- and finance-related COVID-19 scams.
For more information or to file a claim with the RI AG’s office, please click HERE.