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BBB, Attorney General warn about coronavirus related scams

Scammers prey on fears surrounding COVID-19
Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 20:05:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Better Business Bureau and the Indiana Attorney General’s office issued alerts Monday to be wary of scams related to coronavirus.

One RTV6 viewer received a text message that read, “Warning Level 3 (Red): Corona virus outbreak in the US confirmed. Each person has 1 protection dosage reserved.”

The text message then includes a link you can click.

The Better Business Bureau says this is likely a phishing email where scammers are looking to get your personal information or bank account information.

“It’s a time when people are very concerned, there’s a lot of fears out there, and the scammers know that,” said Tim Maniscalo, CEO of the BBB Serving Central Indiana. “They’re trying to play off of that fear that people have. And that somehow they can be protected with ‘vaccines’ that don’t exist or a protection kit that is really not effective."

BBB offers the following tips to avoid coronavirus-related scams:

  • Avoid opening e-mail from an unknown source. Do not click on links in the body of the e-mail or open any attachments. Instead, delete the e-mail. If you suspect that it is a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker.
  • Disregard online offers for vaccinations. Vaccinations against coronavirus do not exist. For more information on the virus and updates on progress in fighting the outbreak, go to the CDC’s website at
  • Make sure the antivirus and anti-malware programs on your computer are up to date and all operating system security patches have been installed. If your computer becomes infected as the result of a spam e-mail about coronavirus, you can report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

The Indiana Attorney General’s office also issued an alert Monday regarding scams related to coronavirus.

“If a consumer receives a phone call, text, or email that claims to provide support and assistance related to the coronavirus, consumers should scrutinize the message to determine if it is legitimate,” the Indiana Attorney General’s office said in a statement to RTV6. “If the message claims that it can provide a cure or other means of protection, then the message is most likely a scam. For information on how to protect yourself related to the coronavirus, consumers should contact the Indiana State Department of Health.”

If consumers receive unsolicited texts or calls related to the coronavirus, a Do Not Call or Do Not Text complaint form can be completed at for the Office to review and investigate.