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4 things to watch for so you don’t fall victim to a coronavirus con

Florida’s CFO warns COVID-19 scams already circulating

File photo
File photo (Luigi Masella/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Reports are surfacing about scammers trying to take advantage during this coronavirus outbreak, so Florida’s chief financial officer is warning you to stay alert.

CFO Jimmy Patronis says offers for products and services related to our current public health emergency may be fraudulent, and with recent reports from the Better Business Bureau of scam tactics associated with COVID-19, he wants to make sure you don’t fall for a scammer trying to make a quick buck.

“Just as we’ve seen during recent natural disasters, scam artists will prey on Florida consumers during their most vulnerable times. Stay vigilant, never give out your personal or financial information to businesses you do not trust,” Patronis said.

Patronis said there are four things to remember to help you avoid coronavirus scams.

  1. Beware of coronavirus cons: Look out for fake cures, phony prevention measures, and other scams. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Be on guard for charity scams: Scammers often impersonate genuine charities and ask for donations, or contact you claiming to be collecting money for relief after natural disasters or major events. Always verify that a charity is legitimate before you donate.
  3. Beware of online scams: Scam artists may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Be careful when browsing online and never give out your personal or financial information.
  4. Only buy from reputable stores and websites: The best way to avoid getting scammed is to buy from a seller you know and trust.

Patronis asks that you report a suspected scam immediately to FraudFreeFlorida.com.