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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION

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3.18.2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams

Please exercise caution with any communications you receive regarding Coronavirus (COVID- 19). Scammers commonly use widespread health alerts and natural disasters as opportunities to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or making “charitable” contributions. These scams may occur via email, phone calls, social media updates, text messages, web pop-ups or by in-person contact.

With respect to communications you receive, please be advised/reminded of the following:

  • Phone numbers and email addresses can be spoofed, so communications may appear to be coming from a trusted source when they’re not.
  • Never open unexpected attachments, even in a message from someone that you know.
  • Do not click embedded links in emails you’re not expecting. These links may appear as typed URLs, as clickable buttons or typed text, e.g., “click here”. If you have an account with an entity that sends you an embedded link, visit their website via a trusted URL that you type into your browser’s address bar to take the requested action.
  • Never provide sensitive or confidential information over email or to callers.
  • Seek updates via legitimate government websites, such as www.cdc.gov/.
  • To confirm the legitimacy of communication, contact the sender/caller via a trusted means of communication, such as a phone number that you’ve obtained from an organization’s website.

Also, be aware of sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments

There are seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. The companies’ products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver. The FTC says the companies have no evidence to back up their claims — as required by law. The FDA says there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.

The seven companies are:

  • Vital Silver
  • Aromatherapy Ltd.
  • N-ergetics
  • GuruNanda, LLC
  • Vivify Holistic Clinic
  • Herbal Amy LLC
  • The Jim Bakker Show

The CDC says your best defense against the Coronavirus is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
      CDC does not recommend that people who are well wearing a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Stay informed.
  • If you’re tempted to buy an unproven product or one with questionable claims, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.