The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says it is aware of news reports and social media discussions about scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department is joining law enforcement from around the country in issuing a warning about the fraud.
IMPD says COVID-19 scams have been in the form of robocalls, emails, or online sellers offering cures, tests, or vaccinations. Recently, some have offered help receiving stimulus checks and payments. The people behind these efforts may claim to be with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other government agencies.
There are currently no vaccines, pills, lotions, lozenges, or any other over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19, and "signing up" or providing an account number is not necessary to receive a stimulus payment.
IMPD offers these tips to keep in mind to protect you from scams:
- If you receive a robocall, hang up. Don't press any numbers or answer any questions.
- Beware of text messages or emails offering cures, information, or financial assistance and do not click links from unfamiliar senders.
- Carefully research requests for donations. Do not send cash, gift cards, or wire money.
- You can report online and email scams to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4257 or visit the FTC website at consumer.ftc.gov for more information.