Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who will prey on good citizens during a time of crisis. We are hearing stories in other cities of scammers taking advantage of people’s fears and anxiety related to Conroavirus.
Therefore, we must all be vigilant to protect ourselves and our family members to Coronavirus Scams.
Here are some examples of potential scams to be aware of and what you can do to protect yourself.
1) Phone solicitations for donations from unfamiliar groups. If someone is claiming to be from a reputable organization is pressuring you to make a donation, that should be a signal to you that they are not legitimate. Do not talk to them or answer any questions. Never give out your social security number or banking information. If you want to make a charitable donation to a charity you are comfortable with, seek them out by visiting their official website.
2) Robocalls – Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to selling protective gear. Hang up the phone immediately. Do not press any buttons.
3) Emails and online ads about Coronavirus vaccines: Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus.
4) Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t. Or, they may be charging exorbitant pricing. We anticipate the supply chains for these products to normalize soon and you will be able to buy these products in Natchitoches Parish from your trusted local businesses.
5) Don’t respond to texts and emails about money from the government. Anyone who tells you they can get you your refund or stimulus money is a scammer. Information regarding financial assistance from the federal government will be communicated to you by mail from the US Treasury.
6) Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/.
If someone has attempted to solicit you as described above, please forward the information to NPDA@10jda.org. We will follow up if needed. If you feel you are a victim of a scam, please call (318) 357-2214.
Thank you for helping us prevent crisis-related scams.
District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington