BBB Scam Alert: Don't fall for a coronavirus con

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Posted at 11:15 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 12:19:14-05

MILWAUKEE (NBC 26) -- The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is warning people of recent scams claiming to be a miracle cure or way to prevent coronavirus.

The BBB says you might be worried abut coronavirus and hear about a prevention or a cure on social media, in an email, or on a website. The message or advertisement contains a lot of information about this amazing product, including convincing testimonials or a conspiracy theory backstory.

According to the BBB, there is currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved vaccines or drugs to prevent coronavirus infection. Although there are drugs in development, no approved vaccines, drugs, or products specifically for coronavirus can be purchased online or in store.

Fake medicines aren't the only way scammers are trying to cash in on coronavirus fears. Con artists are impersonating the CDC and World Health Organization in phishing emails, claiming to have news about the disease and prompt readers to download malicious software. Another email tries to scam people into donating for a fake fundraising effort, claiming to be a government program who are developing a coronavirus cure.

The BBB identifies four tips on spotting a coronavirus con.

First, do not panic and do your research by double checking the information you see online with official news sources.

Second, be wary of personal testimonials and miracle product claims as testimonials are easy to make up and not a substitute for scientific evidence.

Third, just because a product is claimed to be "all natural" doesn't mean it's good for you.

Fourth, if you're still tempted to buy an unproven product or one with questionable claims, check with your doctor or other health professional first.

Follow these tips from the BBB to keep yourself safe from con artists trying to scam you with fear of the coronavirus. Report potential scams on the BBB's website and help others avoid falling victims to scams by CLICKING HERE.

To read more about coronavirus scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website by CLICKING HERE. Learn more about the coronavirus from the CDC by CLICKING HERE. Stay up-to-date with developing a treatment for the coronavirus on the FDA's website by CLICKING HERE.