NewsOn Your Side

Actions

Phony COVID-19 emails, texts rip-off nervous Americans

Colorado's Attorney General "Do not click links"
Phony COVID-19 emails, texts rip-off nervous Americans
Posted at 4:29 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 07:41:46-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — As people follow the requests of state leaders to stay home, many of us are using email to stay connected. In our mission to help you stay a step ahead of scammers News5 Investigative Reporter Patrick Nelson spoke with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser about why you'll want to take a closer look at those emails before clicking any links.

Did you get an urgent email from Coronavirus experts? Consumer protection experts say scammers are hoping you'll check it out. If you click on the link, you do spread a virus... to your computer.

Some people are reporting getting emails from the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control. In these cases, the emails were from scammers impersonating them.

"We're definitely seeing an increase in scams related to Coronavirus and it just continues to grow and expand. So, we've seen a lot of creativity with scammers," said BBB of Southern Colorado Spokesperson Adah Rodriguez.

The attacks come through emails and text messages with headlines like "flu pandemic warning" stating they are trying to "stop the spread of disease".

I spoke to Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on the phone about how we can fight back.

"Look really carefully at where it is coming from and do not give out personal information in an email. If you think it might be real just call the company directly and they will tell you if it is real or not," said Weiser.

If you click on the link, it can allow criminals to monitor what you're doing online and allow them to steal passwords and sensitive information from you. The CDC warns all of your files could be affected and hackers are demanding money to get back control.

"Do not download, or click the links that you have any possible reason to think it's legitimate and that could even include coming from your friends as a warning. So just be really careful," said Weiser.

If you do spot a scam tied to Coronavirus please report it. You can always reach out to us at News5. Plus, you can report it to the Attorney General's Office by visiting https://www.stopfraudcolorado.gov/

The big takeway, never click on unsolicited emails or links. Instead go to the real ".Gov" websites for the latest on Coronavirus.