SFPD Warns Public About COVID-19 Scams 20-031

The San Francisco Police Department is aware of reports on in the news media and in social media about scams related to COVID-19. It is unfortunate that there are always those who will try to take advantage of people’s fears during a crisis. During this time,  SFPD and our law enforcement partners around the country want to warn the public about these frauds.

COVID-19 scams can come in the form of robocalls, emails or online sellers offering cures, tests or vaccinations. The people behind these offers may claim to be with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and may claim to have special information or products available.

These are incredibly challenging times for all of us and we understand the desire to protect yourself and your family. But it’s important to know that there currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19.

When dealing with unsolicited offers, keep in mind the adages, “Buyer beware,” and “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

If you receive a robocall, hang up. Don’t press any numbers or answer any questions. Beware of text messages and emails offering cures, information or financial assistance related to COVID-19. Carefully research requests for donations. Don’t send cash, gift cards, or wire money.

You can report online and email scams to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or visit the FTC website at consumer.ftc.gov for more details on scams related to COVID-19. For San Francisco public health updates, please visit sf.gov.

Corona Virus FTC graphic