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Scammers Exploiting Ebola Fears

Scam Jam File

Scammers prey on fears during the worst of circumstances – and the Ebola crisis is no different. Fraudsters are already using sleazy tactics to turn a quick buck.

Watch out for:

  • online offers for an Ebola cure or special “natural” or “dietary” methods to alleviate or prevent symptoms;
  • email scams with alarming messages like "Ebola update" or “Ebola Pandemic” which may include links that release computer viruses;
  • sales of "personal protection kits" at low prices to provide supposed “infection defense”;
  • charity scams claiming to help victims or fight the disease; and
  • potential stock investment frauds involving companies that say they are involved in the development of products that will prevent the spread of viral diseases like Ebola.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has seen and received “consumer complaints about a variety of products claiming to either prevent the Ebola virus or treat the infection.” Despite these claims, “…there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for purchase on the Internet.” And the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association for the dietary supplement industry, warns consumers that there are currently no supplements that can prevent or cure Ebola.

As always, your best bet to protect yourself from these scams is to:

  • delete any suspicious emails without opening or clicking on any links,
  • ask how donations will be spent and check a charity’s registration before providing any money, and
  • never provide your personal or financial information to companies you don’t know.

If you have questions about a possible Ebola-related scam, contact: The Idaho Attorney General's Office

Have you heard of any Ebola scams? Go to our scam-tracking map and tell us about it!

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