BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to climb, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is warning people that scammers are trying to use the coronavirus to make money.
In a news release, Frosh said there are a number of scams going around, including people selling products that falsely claim to prevent or cure the disease and scammers posing as organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that try to trick people into clicking on links that contain malware.
No products or drugs have been approved to prevent or treat the disease, officials said.
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“Unsolicited emails from the CDC, WHO, or other “experts” saying they have information about the virus are likely phishing attempts to get money or personal information, or may be attempting to download viruses or malware onto the recipient’s computer,” Frosh’s office warned in the release.
The release also said scammers may also pretend to raise money for coronavirus research.
The U.S. Secret Service said it is also seeing a number of email “phishing” scams and efforts using social media to raise money for fake research.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) March 6, 2020
The attorney general’s office said people should rely on official sources for information about COVID-19, including the Maryland Department of Health and the CDC.
Frosh’s office said the Federal Trade Commission is also reporting scam activity related to the virus.
Anne Arundel Medical Center said it’s also been alerted to a scam in which callers claim to be the center and ask for a person’s credit card information, saying they have a COVID-19 cure.
“Please know if you receive a call like this, it is a scam and you should report it to the police,” the center wrote on Facebook. “We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our community safe.”