District Attorney: beware of COVID-19 scams

Incumbent District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Courtesy Photo.

Due to the growing concern surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is cautioning the county to be aware of scammers offering treatment for COVID-19 and spreading inaccurate information. 

“The Federal Trade Commission has warned that fraudsters are creating websites to sell fake remedies,” according to a District Attorney news release sent out Friday. 

At this time, there is no vaccination or treatment to prevent COVID-19, which is why Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer recommends social distancing. 

“When you don’t have vaccinations, we have social distancing,” Ferrer said in a press conference Thursday. “That is the ability that we all have, if we do this well to not congregate and be in spaces where we are able to expose large numbers of people to a novel virus.” 

Fraudsters are spreading false information through phony emails, text messages and social media posts, in an attempt to illicit money and compromise individuals’ information, the release added. 

The release included the following tips to COVID-19 avoid scammers on the internet: 

  • Do not click on links from unknown senders; they could load malware onto your devices.
  • Remain vigilant of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or disease experts. Directly visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov.
  • Be suspicious of online offers for vaccinations or cures for the coronavirus. Also, check the legitimacy of groups asking for donations for victims.

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