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Scams related to COVID-19 on the rise

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As medical professionals prepare for a potential influx of COVID-19 cases, the Peoria County Sheriff's Office is dealing with an increase in scams related to the virus.

Aimee Shinall, the victims services coordinator for the Sheriff's Office said in times like this, perpetrators prey on the public's fear and confusion.

"Scammers know our minds are focused on major events that are happening around us and that we are more vulnerable to the scamming attacks then we might be under normal circumstances." said Shinall

She said scams come in all forms from call, text, email, even social media pages.

Shinall said scammers are using a variety of tactic from claiming they can give you medical discounts because of the global pandemic, to asking for your banking information stating it is for the federal stimulus check.

"Please do not give any personal information to anyone until you can verify who they are and if the person is legitimate. If anyone guarantees you free or reduced rates on PPE or treatments for COVID-19. this is a scam."

So what are some tips to keep you safe from a potential scam?

Shinall said if you see a number calling you don't recognize do not answer it, it is OK if it goes to voicemail because even pressing numbers during a call could release information. Never click on links in emails or texts that you don't recognize.
And if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't and contact the department with the information.

Kaitlin Pearson

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