The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection issued an alert to warn consumers about scams related to COVID-19.
In a statement, DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas said, "It is a sad reality that scammers often take advantage of people during times of crisis." For example, DCWP said that with the increase in people getting pets right now, consumers should be aware of "puppy scams" -- where fraudulent pet sites may advertise pets that don't exist.
Here are the types of COVID-19 scams that DCWP is most concerned about:
- Fake government calls, e-mails, and texts;
- Charity scams;
- Fake COVID-19 treatment and testing, including medicines, testing kits, and other products;
- Personal protective equipment scams;
- Phishing scams;
- Unknown callers and robocalls;
- Fake money deals, including debt relief scams, counterfeit coupons, and tax loans;
- Puppy scams; and
- Student loan scams.
DCWP has also been focused on price gouging issues related to COVID-19. DCWP has issued thousands of violations to retailers for violating NYC's price gouging rules.
"It is a sad reality that scammers often take advantage of people during times of crisis" -- DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas