Coronavirus: FCC, PG&E warn of rise in scams playing on COVID-19 fears

ByMichael Finney and Renee Koury KGO logo
Sunday, March 22, 2020
FCC, PG&E warn of rise in scams playing on coronavirus fears
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Both the FCC and PG&E are warning consumers to be on the lookout for scams that promise coronavirus tests or cures -- and other scams that try to take advantage of those already facing financial instability due to the virus.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The federal government put out an urgent warning today that scam artists preying on our fears about coronavirus. They're blasting robocalls out, says the Federal Communications Commission, promising everything from a free test kit to a cure.

Three phony sales pitches running rampant right now. If you click on our video, you'll hear the scam calls yourself. Remember: these are fake. All they want is your money and your identity.

One of the most widespread scams is this robocall claiming the government is supplying test kits.

"Response Act has made coronavirus testing more accessible immediately. if you want to receive a free testing kit delivered overnight to your home, press 1. if you do not want your free testing, press 2," says the scammer.

There are no test kits. Bad guys are after your personal data.

Another call is targeting folks with diabetes.

"If you are diabetic and using insulin, we can qualify you to get a free diabetic monitor and a complimentary testing kit for coronavirus. To learn more, please press 1, otherwise please press 2," says the caller.

Finally, this one claims that cleaning your air ducts will protect you from the pandemic.

"Protect your loved ones from the coronavirus. For only $79, our highly trained technicians will do a full air duct cleaning and sanitation to make sure that the air you breathe is free of bacteria. So don't hesitate, press 0 and have your duct system cleaned and sanitized now. Press 9 to be removed from this list."

Air duct cleaning isn't going to stop the virus.

Also, more scammers are out there claiming PG&E is about to shut off your electricity unless you send money. It's a scam too, says PG&E. In fact, PG&E has a moratorium on any shutoffs, even if you really do owe money.

There are many more scams out there offering everything from health insurance to a COVID-19 cure. Always be skeptical of those promising cures or miracles.

Go here for the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus.

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