“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Among the many issues surrounding the COVID pandemic, there has been a rise in scams and fraud related to the virus. Most of the scams and fraud are occuring in 3 major areas – misinformation, phishing scams and selling of fake or counterfeit goods. Each type of scam or fraud poses the very real danger of causing people to put themselves in harm’s way or to giving sensitive information that can be used to steal from or defraud them in other ways. Let’s take a look at these different kinds of fraud and scams.



Misinformation has abounded during the lockdown and has included everything from inaccurate information about the virus, protecting oneself from the virus to harmful at-home treatments that don’t help if one is infected, or worse, can make them even sicker. It’s important to listen only to trusted sources of information during this time such as the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) . If the information doesn’t come from a trusted source, it can be potentially harmful misinformation.


Phishing Scams

Phishing scams involve emails or websites that appear to come from an official source or entity but in reality, do not. Phishing scams range from installing malware on your computer to collecting sensitive information from you that can be used fraudulently or to steal your identity. Phishing is particularly dangerous because the emails or web pages are structured to look just like the official ones they’re mimicking. It’s important to never click on a link in an email you didn’t sign up for and never enter any sensitive information online such as your bank account information, social security number or any other information someone could use to commit fraud against you.


Selling Fake and Counterfeit Goods

As the need for masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) has skyrocketed, so too have the number of sites offering such things for sale. In many cases, your payment information is used for fraud (see above) and you never receive the item. If you do receive the item, it can be defective, useless or might not perform the function it claims to, for example high tech face masks that claim to filter the air as you breathe. You can help protect yourself by never buying goods from sites you’ve never heard of or haven’t used before. Stick to sites that have guarantees and particularly sites that hide your payment information from the seller such as Amazon and eBay. Even sticking to those sites won’t guarantee you don’t get a defective or counterfeit product but at least they have a process for getting your money back in such cases.

It’s important to be aware of the various scams and fraud related to COVID going around right now. The pandemic has opened up new opportunities for scammers and new opportunities for you to fall prey to fraud. Never give your personal information online and stick with trusted resources for both information and goods.