GOSHEN - Watch out for those scammers.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, Ulster County DA David Clegg and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli are coordinating with other law enforcement officials to protect the public from internet scammers who are using COVID-19 to rip off unsuspecting people.
“We believe there is a growing need to combat the fraudsters and scammers that take advantage of the fears and vulnerabilities created by the pandemic,” Clegg said.
Be on the lookout for these scams, which may arrive by phone, text or email:
- Offers of checks, whether by email, text or phone: These messages may claim to be offers of COVID-19 response money, but are really seeking personal information or trying to infect your computer with malware.
- Offers of vaccines or home testing kits: There is no known treatment or preventative for COVID-19. Scammers may contact people, especially targeting the elderly, saying the person needs to take a COVID-19 test. The scammer tries to elicit medical information, such as Medicare or Social Security numbers, in order to submit fraudulent claims.
- COVID-19 treatment fraud: scammers are pushing fake cures, vaccines or treatments on the internet and via email and phone solicitations. The scammers are also after medical insurance and personal information.
- Federal relief scams: claiming to be part of relief efforts in order to obtain personal financial or medical information.
Scammers may send emails with embedded links that install malware or collect passwords or other private information.
“We must be more cautious than ever about unsolicited offers related to the pandemic,” Hoovler said. As always, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
To report suspected fraud involving taxpayer money call the Comptroller's Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555.