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NEWS: Cuyahoga County Warns Residents of Scams Related to Coronavirus COVID-19

by Sheryl Harris , Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs

Scammers are already exploiting COVID-19 by hyping bogus products, touting sketchy investments and pumping out malware-laden emails.  

The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs and its Scam Squad partners urge County residents to take a few simple steps to avoid and report COVID-19 scams:   

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know, including links in emails, texts and social media posts that promote bogus cures or preventive products. Some of these are loaded with malware that can infect computers and other devices. 

  • Stay clear of hyped info about homemade remedies. Some of the cleaning formulas being hyped on social media may not be effective.  

  • Report price-gouging. The Ohio Attorney General’s office is tracking reports of stores that greatly inflate prices to take advantage of virus scares. Report to the attorney general at OhioProtects.org or 1-800-282-0515.  

  • Avoid pump-and-dump investment schemes.  The SEC is warning investors they can be stuck with worthless investments if they sink money into companies that falsely claim their stocks are about to soar because of COVID-19 related stocks or services. Be especially wary of “research reports” and recommendations on microchip stocks.   

Have a question or want to report a scam? Contact Scam Squad at consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us or 216-443-SCAM (7226).