COLORADO SPRINGS — In our mission to to help you stay one step ahead of the crooks who are trying to use the Coronavirus pandemic to their advantage News5 has a look at how people who are price gouging are being held accountable. Plus, more details on the new emerging scams to watch out for.
While we are all doing our part to slow down the spread of the virus here in Colorado, scammers are only ramping-up their attacks. Through your phone, your emails, and even when you're doing that online shopping, crooks are looking to cash in with new tactics.
"Here's one to look out for that we've already started seeing, efforts to tell people that there's checks available from the federal government and all you've got to do is give up your personal information to get it or give us your bank account information and we will deposit the check direct deposit," said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.
Robokiller, the company which sells software to help people block robocalls provided this example of a call going out right now to Americans.
"My fellow Americans, this is a republican house survey. the Coronavirus has just caused the Dow to drop 1,000 this week. are you prepared for this crash?," the recorded voice says on the call.
But it isn't just phone calls. People also report getting scam text messages in the last few days.
"There are two things that i think the ultimate goal there is for scammers, either click a url that potentially has malware on it and install it on your phone, so they can steal your passwords, etc. or actually get you to buy something over the internet," said Robokiller Marketing Vice President Giulia Porter.
Amazon also says its removed 500,000 items and suspended 4,000 accounts due to price gouging. Scammers know with more people staying home it's a target rich environment for connecting with people who might give up money or sensitive information.
"Because people are quarantined now, we do expect the number of these scams to rise, largely because people are will be answering their phones at a higher rate," said Porter.
In the conversation with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, he tells News5 fighting scams and fraud is a top priority for his office right now and his office has shifted the resources necessary to go after the scammers. That's why they want to hear from you at stopfraudcolorado.gov