Scammers take advantage of virus fears

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AUSTRALIA’S consumer watchdog has warned people to be aware of scammers using the COVID-19 crisis to sell fake cures and products.

The ACCC put out a statement today (20 March) confirming that they have received 94 scam reports relating to coronavirus this year. They said that that figure is rising.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said “unfortunately, scammers are using the uncertainty around COVID-19, or coronavirus, to take advantage of people”.

“We’ve had a wide variety of scams reported to us, including fake online stores selling products claiming to be a vaccine or cure for coronavirus, and stores selling products such as face masks and not providing the goods,” she said.

“Scammers are impersonating official organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health or legitimate businesses such as travel agents and telecommunications companies.

“There is no known vaccine or cure for coronavirus and a vaccine isn’t expected to be available for 18 months. Do not buy any products that claim to prevent or cure you of COVID-19. They simply don’t exist.”

Report scams to scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam. If you have been scammed contact your bank.

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