April Fools’ Day is near and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation wants to make sure no one is fooled by three coronavirus scams.
Scam No. 1 –Avoid scams claiming to have a top-secret vaccine or miracle cure, or claiming to offer government assistance or economic relief. These false claims are scams intended to scare people into sharing their personal information.
- Do not open emails, click links, or open attachments from anyone you do not know
- Do not share your personal or financial information with anyone you do not know
Scam No. 2 – Avoid scams requiring downloads to view coronavirus maps. This is an attempt to get people to download malware onto their device.
- No download is required. These maps are available from Johns Hopkins University at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Scam No. 3 – Avoid scams using the market downturn to convince people to invest in a product with a guaranteed or very high return, including investments tied to COVID-19, such as medical supplies, vaccines, and other treatments. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Ask three questions before making any investment:
- Is it being offered with little or no risk?
- Is there a sense of urgency or limited availability?
- Is the person or the investment registered?
“We are fortunate to have some great companies doing all they can to help consumers right now,” said Andrew Stolfi, administrator of the Division of Financial Regulation. “We want all Oregonians to make sure they are relying only on trusted sources for the information they need to keep their families safe and healthy during this outbreak.”
The division has set up a COVID-19 insurance and financial services page to help answer consumer questions. For more information on investment schemes related to COVID-19, visit the North American Securities Administrators Association news page.
If you believe you have been a victim of a COVID-19 scam, visit justice.gov/coronavirus to report it to the U.S. Department of Justice.
If you have a question or concern about an investment product or advisor, contact the Division of Financial Regulation advocates at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email email@example.com.