Fraud expert warns of coronavirus scams

Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 22:20:49-04

CAPE CORAL, FLA — At a time when many are focused on their health, Fox 4 wants to give you some info that protect you from those looking to scam you.

We spoke to a local fraud investigator, Scott Russell, about coronavirus scams that are now popping up.

"Anything that's related to the coronavirus of course is an opportunity for fraudsters to have somebody act in fear when they normally may have made a better judgment of whether or not to engage with that person," said Russell, President of Intel Research Group, Inc.

He says they often come in the form of an email, website or text message.

"Anything that involves a cure or testing, even charities, which people may not be as suspicious of thinking they're not buying anything they're just trying to help somebody else," said Russell.

And they often target seniors who may not be as tech-savvy.

Russell says his company is offering free consultations to any senior who isn't sure if a local business that's reached out to them is real or not.

But he adds that these are tips anyone of any age should use to protect themselves from these people.

"The cardinal rule should be if it doesn't feel right, if it's somebody you don't know or a business you didn't know before the coronavirus scare started then just leave it alone," said Russell.