The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs has issues a warning to residents about reported scams purporting to offer aid related to COVID-19 and the proposed government stimulus intended to help consumers and businesses.
The county issued a statement Wednesday, March 25, urging residents to be extremely cautious when handling texts, emails, and social media posts regarding COVID-19 and/or government stimulus checks.
Find the full statement from the county below, followed by links to useful information on how to identify and avoid such scams:
Cuyahoga County residents have reported receiving scam texts that say:
“… fill out this Census form so you can get you [sic] stimulus check. …If you don’t fill it out you will not receive a check in the mail.”
These texts are bogus. The coronavirus stimulus relief program is entirely separate from the Census. Federal law prohibits Census information from being used for other government programs, and details of the federal coronavirus stimulus relief program haven’t been worked out yet.
But worse, texts or posts like this may contain malware, which is a computer virus that can steal information and passwords from your phone or computer.
Law enforcement around the country are reporting an uptick in coronavirus-related email and social media scams, which coincide with large numbers of people working from home.
Some emails have been doctored to look like they come from the Centers for Disease Control or World Health Organization.
“Even though some of these texts or posts may seem helpful, they are designed to harm us or our neighbors,” said Sheryl Harris, Director of Consumer Affairs for Cuyahoga County. “We all have to be vigilant before we click on a link or share information.”
Be extra cautious with emails or texts that:
These sites can help you spot email and other coronavirus-related scams:
If you have questions about a scam, please contact Scam Squad at 216-443-SCAM (7226).
Below is a recap of Governor DeWine’s press conference for 3/24/2020
By the Numbers:
Healthcare System Capacity:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):