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article imageFBI warns of bogus coronavirus cures and email scams

By Karen Graham     Mar 26, 2020 in Health
It is bad enough that COVID-19 has caused devastating real-world impacts across the globe - but it has not stopped the fraudsters waiting in the shadows - hoping to make a quick buck at the expense of our fear and confusion.
While the COVID-19 virus has killed more than 20,000 people, causing markets to crash and sets scientists scrambling for a solution, rumors and false claims are fuelling confusion and deepening global economic misery.
Posts on social media and emails sent to unsuspecting Internet users - professing to have a cure for the coronavirus - or telling you how to get an economic stimulus check - are just some of the scams being spread today. Well, here are some facts to digest, and everyone needs to be alert to what is happening.
Hospitals in nations hit by COVID-19 are facing surging numbers of patients
Hospitals in nations hit by COVID-19 are facing surging numbers of patients
SEBASTIEN BOZON, AFP/File
There is no cure for COVID-19
The rapid spread of information online means that when scientists discuss as-yet unproven theories, anxious patients can take unnecessary risks. Fact: There is no cure at this time for the coronavirus.
Last week, President Donald Trump gave Americans false hope that a drug used to treat malaria is showing "promise" as a cure for the virus, hailing it as a potential "gift from God" remedy. However, a man in his 60s died in the US from taking a form of chloroquine called chloroquine phosphate, an additive "commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks."
Confusion has been sparked by letters and theoretical papers published in scientific journals about whether some types of heart medication can raise the chance of developing a serious form of COVID-19.
Researchers are working to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus but theoretical papers on unpro...
Researchers are working to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus but theoretical papers on unproven cures have sparked confusion among some of the public
Thibault Savary, AFP/File
Carolyn Thomas, who runs a blog for women living with heart disease, said dozens of her readers had contacted her for advice after seeing tweets warning about ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers.
"Until I get in to see my own cardiologist, I'm still taking my own drugs, even as I wonder if they are increasing my own vulnerability to catching the virus," Thomas, who is self-isolating at home in Canada, told AFP. "I'm afraid to take them, yet I'm afraid to stop," she said.
Professor Garry Jennings, the chief medical advisor for Australia's Heart Foundation, said the theoretical papers were "based on a number of factors which are all disputed" and warned that if patients stopped taking their medication there could be an upshot in heart attacks and deaths.
Email scams and fake federal websites
On Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned of an increase in scams related to the coronavirus pandemic. The fraudsters pretended to be from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fake charities seeking to help people suffering during the pandemic and from people offering quick access to coronavirus economic stimulus checks.
Health experts have advised social distancing and quarantine measures but US President Donald Trump ...
Health experts have advised social distancing and quarantine measures but US President Donald Trump says the country is "not built to shut down"
MANDEL NGAN, AFP
In a statement, Chicago FBI spokeswoman, Vicki Anderson said not to open attachments or links in emails from unrecognized senders, don’t provide personal information like social security numbers and financial information during robocalls or in emails and to verify web addresses of legitimate websites.
The statement also warns people to be wary of anyone claiming to sell products that prevent, treat, diagnose or cure Covid-19. Counterfeit personal protective equipment, including N95 masks, goggles, face shields, protective gowns, and gloves.
The FBI said to use these websites for guidance and reporting counterfeit equipment:
www.cdc.gov/niosh.
www.fda.gov
www.epa.gov
www.ic3.gov
iprcenter.gov
More about coronavirus, Fraudsters, Cures, Medicines, fake CDC emails
 
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