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Officials warn of coronavirus-related scams

Apr 21, 2020 1:00 pm
Nora Mishanec is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media state and local officials are warning that fraudsters are exploiting public anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic and using the crisis as a way to profit. The state attorney general’s office is tracking the latest scams, which include schemes to steal the $1,200 federal stimulus checks, census fraud and bogus coronavirus cures. Greene County Sheriff Peter Kusminsky said his office issued a warning after Greene County residents were targeted with a text message scam. “The text claims that you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive or is showing symptoms of the coronavirus," he said. "It says you must self-isolate and it directs you to click on a link for more information. Do not click on the link.” Anyone applying for unemployment benefits is at increased risk of fraud, officials from the state Department of Labor warned this week. As part of its Call Back initiative, Labor Department employees are calling applicants to help with claims, so anyone applying is advised to be wary of potentially fraudulent calls. “To prevent fraud, anyone calling from the Department of Labor will verify their identity by providing the date you filed your unemployment insurance application and the type of claim you filed,” said a department spokesperson. Applicants are urged to check with the Labor Department Telephone Claims Center if they are uncertain about a caller. The Telephone Claims Center can be reached at 518-704-2704. New scams are emerging daily to target the elderly and the attorney general’s office is aware of fraudsters pretending to represent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who are offering bogus testing services and selling fake coronavirus cures. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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