Beware of Covid-19 email and messaging scams

Beware of Covid-19 email and messaging scams


Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, many online scammers have been seeking to benefit financially from the crisis. The scams are conducted by email, and you can easily prevent yourself from becoming a victim if you know what to look for.

Beware of emails with links or attachments

Many are receiving emails that claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO), and they may even appear to use an official CDC or WHO email address. Others claim to be distributing health advice using a message such as “This little measure can save you.”

Unless you’ve signed up for a mailing list from these organizations or medical experts, you should consider all of these emails to be a scam and report them as spam in your email service.

You should never open any attachments or click links from senders you do not know. Learn more about protecting yourself when using email using our Privacy Toolkit.

Don’t believe what you read

Other emails are being sent that claim to be offering tests for Covid-19, medications, or other medical services.

Unless you’re receiving the email from your physician or a medical facility that you have used previously, these claims are likely fraudulent. If you think it might be legitimate, go to the doctor or hospital’s website to find their phone number, and call them directly.

The Department of Health and Human Services explains what is going on here:

These scammers use the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harms. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill Federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft. If Medicare or Medicaid denies the claim for an unapproved test, the beneficiary could be responsible for the cost.

To find legitimate information about Covid-19, visit the following websites: