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Pinellas County warns residents of coronavirus schemes

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pinellas County Consumer Protection is advising residents to look out for and report schemes exploiting coronavirus fears.

The county said tactics include phishing, fake donation requests and attempted sales of health products with unfounded claims.

Numerous tips were offered to keep residents safe online:

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know
  • Make sure the anti-virus and anti-malware software on your computer is up to date
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or experts
  • Ignore offers for vaccinations
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations through charities or crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe and others
  • Don’t let anyone rush you into donating
  • If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card or wiring money, don’t do it
  • Purchase from sellers you know, trust or have an established business relationship with
  • Check out a charity before you donate – all charities soliciting within the state are required to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Beware of any representations of a product that may seem too good to be true

Residents can file a complaint if they feel they were overcharged for applicable products.

For more information or to file a complaint, contact Pinellas County Consumer Protection at 727-464-6200 or go online.

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Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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