Better East Texas: Beware of COVID-19 opportunists, scammers

BET: Beware COVID-19 scams, opportunists

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Covid-19 experience continues but some troubling components have emerged or are on the horizon that have nothing directly to do with the virus itself. They are points we all need to take heed in addressing.

We are already seeing some opportunists price gouging on some retail items. But worse than that are some malicious actors that are producing offers on social media or through emails that make false claims that are designed to get innocent, unsuspecting, but desperate, people to respond or send money. These can be everything from products like home testing kits, to some kind of cure-all, all the way to organizations that supposedly influence federal legislation.

Many are for causes or products you have never heard of and that should be the first red flag. There aren’t any home test kits available yet and there may never be fully functional kits and other offers are simply scams to steal money. I had a close family member sending money to numerous causes years ago that was essentially robbery. In those instances, the medium was slick produced mail pieces that looked like legitimate causes and organizations. They were not.

Today, we receive slickly produced emails, customized, sometimes with videos that look legit. Many are not. We must, ourselves, look at these through a skeptical lens. If it seems too good to be true or it appeals to us just because it is what we want to hear, be on alert. There are many pitfalls in the social media and digital world – so be careful and skeptical when things that are too good to be true come our way.

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