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Cuyahoga County Warns Residents of Scams Related to Coronavirus COVID-19

3/11/2020

Media contact: 
Cuyahoga County Joint Information Center: JIC@cuyahogacounty.us; (216) 443-5245



CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs is warning County residents about scams surrounding COVID-19.

People should exercise caution in handling any email with a Coronavirus/COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

Local and federal IT security specialists have already reported malware-laden COVID-19 spam.

Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration have sent warning letters to companies touting teas, colloidal silver, and essential oils as preventive products without providing any scientific evidence they work.

To avoid COVID-19 related scams:

  • Get updates on COVID-19 from trusted news and official sources, including https://www.cdc.gov/ and https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health has information on COVID-19 prevention measures and cleaning products at ccbh.net/coronavirus/.
  • Avoid clicking on emailed links about COVID-19 from unknown sources to avoid downloading malware on your computer or phone.
  • Ignore social media ads or shares with hyped headlines or that tout COVID-19 "cures" or prevention products.
  • Investigate products before you buy. The FTC is keeping track of COVID-19 scams at ftc.gov/coronavirus.

People can report suspected scams and price-gouging to Scam Squad at Consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us or 216-443-SCAM (7226).

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The Department of Consumer Affairs’ mission is to make sure people who live or shop in Cuyahoga County get what they pay for.