Washingtonians should be skeptical of claims about virus
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued a new warning to Washingtonians about scammers looking to capitalize on fears around the COVID-19.
“If you get a text or email promising cures, cash, or COVID-19 protection if you’ll just click on a link, be wary,” Ferguson said. “Scammers are likely trying to steal your personal information or install harmful software on your device. Scammers take advantage of fear and uncertainty to make you go against your better judgment and click on a link or share personal details. Remember: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
The images at right show scam messages received by Washingtonians. Scammers are sending texts and emails promising to protect people from the virus, or offering cash payments to help weather the crisis. In reality, these messages are trying to obtain personal information, efforts known as phishing, or install harmful software on your device, called malware. Some types of software, known as ransomware, can be used to lock you out of your device until you pay the scammer. The risks of clicking unknown links are serious and real.
Washingtonians should be wary of these types of messages. Tips for avoiding COVID-19 scams:
- Be skeptical — there is no cure for COVID-19.
- Don’t click on links — they can be malicious.
- Don’t provide your personal information to unknown sources who may be trying to get your personal or financial information
- Don’t donate money without researching who is asking for your money — there are many bogus charities offering to help.
- Visit trusted resources for legitimate information about COVID-19, like government health departments or your health care provider.