Beware of Coronavirus scams

Beware of coronavirus scams that are spreading like wildfire via email, on social media, by text and by telephone call, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell warned today.

“Hucksters prey on our anxieties and these uncertain times provide a very ripe environment for scams,” County Executive Odell said. “There are always those who will try to exploit fear for their own profit. Don’t let them.”

Some Putnam residents have received phone calls claiming to be from the federal government and offering to send a coronavirus test kit to your home if you will give the caller your name, address and Social Security number. If you get this call, just hang up.

“No government agency would ever call and request your Social Security number,” Putnam County Legislature Chairwoman Toni Addonizio said. “The bottom line is: do not share your personal information over the phone or online with anyone you don’t know.”

Other reported scams include texts to personal phones that offer to send free iPhones to help as you spend more time at home. This is false. Just delete the text, do not click on its link.

Watch out for emails with subject lines that promise cures or treatments for coronavirus. Recent news reports have noted that COVID-19 themed phishing emails launched 2,500 malware attacks on computers worldwide on Monday alone. The best practice is not to click on links in emails, texts or social media posts that are from anyone you don’t know.

As always, get your news from reliable sources. For the latest COVID-19 news, go to