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IMPD Public Safety Advisory: Warning on COVID-19 scams

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) is aware of news reports and social media discussions about scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unacceptable that individuals are seeking to take advantage of people’s fears during this crisis. IMPD joins law enforcement partners from around the country in issuing a warning to our community about these frauds.

COVID-19 scams can reach you in the form of robocalls, emails, or online sellers offering cures, tests, or vaccinations, and more recently, help receiving stimulus checks and payments. The people behind these efforts may claim to be with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other government agencies. 

During these confusing and challenging times, we understand the desire to quickly receive financial help or provide your family with protection from COVID-19. It’s important to remember that there are currently no vaccines, pills, lotions, lozenges, or any other over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19, and “signing up” or providing an account number is not necessary to receive a stimulus payment. 

Some tips to keep in mind to protect you from scams:

  • If you receive a robocall, hang up. Don’t press any numbers or answer any questions. 
  • Beware of text messages or emails offering cures, information, or financial assistance and do not click links from unfamiliar senders.
  • Carefully research requests for donations. Do not send cash, gift cards, or wire money.

You can report online and email scams to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4257 or visit the FTC website at consumer.ftc.gov for more information. 

Residents and affected workers impacted by COVID-19 restrictions should visit the city’s resource guide, which can be viewed at indy.gov/covid. Spanish speaking residents can view the resource guide here. Individuals who are unable to navigate the city’s website can call 317-327-4MAC between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to talk to a customer service representative. Those in need of non-emergency police services should call 317-327-3811.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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