Avoiding COVID-19 Scams and Phishing Attempts
Scam emails will often claim to be from reliable authorities such as the CDC, HHS, WHO and others. These scams are designed to entice recipients into opening emails containing malicious content, such as attachments or links to web content. Opening these documents or links will likely result in the compromise of the device (computer, phone, tablet) with malicious code designed to steal personal and/or financial information.
What You Should Be Looking Out For:

Scammers impersonating organizations such as the CDC, HHS, WHO and others, providing purported tips, safety measures, and/or updates on the outbreak. These scammers are leveraging:

• Emails

• SMS (text) messages

• Phone calls

 


The FCC offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from scams, including coronavirus scams:

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)

For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center and the FCC Scam Glossary. You can also file a complaint about such scams at fcc.gov/complaints.