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BBB: Consumers Beware-Coronavirus Scammers Still Out There

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Scammers continue to use the coronavirus pandemic as a way to try to cheat consumers out of money with a variety of schemes.   Officials warn you should stay alert.  Here are some of the top scams.

Many states are starting to open back up though coronavirus concerns remain.  Communities are trying to adjust to their new normal, in many cases still wearing masks and social distancing.  But local Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan officials say they’re still getting calls about scam artists.  At the top are scams about phony masks and fake cures.

Here’s Troy Baker the BBB’s Education Foundation Director.   

“We still get a lot of complaints about fake cures, fake masks. These are websites that offer product we’re still looking for with COVID. They offer those hearty masks for a discount, you pay your money and you never the product.”

Other scams include stimulus check fraud and phishing scams, some impersonating the government, others aimed at those working from home.

“You really need to be cautious especially working from home.  With the emails coming in, is it really from the person it says it’s from is it really from the company it says it’s from?”

Baker says the employment scam is a popular one too (that’s where phony work from home jobs are posted, only they ask you for money for a training fee.  Plus, the shortage scam where scammers take advantage of hard to find items, like toilet paper or hand sanitizer and over charge you for it.  

The BBB says even though it looks like cities and states are returning to normal, you still need to be alert.

“Take your time and do your research first. Before you click on something, before you pay something. Make sure you’re acting in a way that’s deliberate. And if you’re buying something you’re doing your homework ahead of time.”

You can report scams to the scam tracker found at BBB.org.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.