BBB warns Middle Tennesseans of Coronavirus scams

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Posted at 10:03 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 23:37:54-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the death toll from the coronavirus continues to climb, con artists are trying to take advantage of fears surrounding the outbreak.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky reports multiple scams targeting people in the region.

Officials warn people to watch out for fake websites selling masks, or emails asking for donations, or offering vaccines that don’t exist.

“Rely on professionals when you have concerns,” said Robyn Householder, President and CEO of the BBB serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. “If you are concerned about getting sick, call your medical professional.”

An online article circulating in Springfield claimed a local 16-year-old has come down with the coronavirus. While the site may look legitimate, city officials say the information is false.

There are no reported cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) in Tennessee, but Householder says that won't stop the scams.

“They know we have good hearts, and we worry,” she said.

The BBB also recommends you never open an email from a stranger. Emails with misspelled words can be a sign of a scam. Disregard online offers for vaccinations against the coronavirus, because a vaccine does not exit. Also, check and update your antivirus and anti-malware programs to protect your computer.

“Think before you act,” said Householder. “That is the most important thing you can do.”