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Coronavirus: Scams to watch out for

Although we are seeing the best of humanity during the coronavirus scare -- people helping people, reaching out, watching out for each other -- there are some people who are trying to take advantage of our fears.

Here are some coronavirus scams to be aware of.

Combine robocalls and coronavirus and what do you get? Some sick people taking advantage of others. Experts say unless an infected person has been living inside your home’s air ducts, cleaning them won’t prevent the spread of coronavirus because the virus is spread from germs transmitted from person to person—not bacteria in the air.

Youmail, a call-screening app, says there’s been a surge in robocall messages concerning COVID-19. Don’t be fooled if someone offers you a vaccine. There is no vaccine and there won’t be for at least a year. Youmail says there’s also been a rip-off robocall promoting an Amazon work-from-home scam that claims to pay $400 a day. There is no such job.

And don’t get sucked in online. Consumer Affairs reports there’s an increase in emails from fake public health agencies asking for donations. Do your own online research and report any scams by going to the websites of the Federal Trade Commission or the Office of the Attorney General.

Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure Coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.