Beware of scammers trying to take advantage during pandemic

Problem Solvers

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DENVER (KDVR) — Robocalls and mysterious text messages are annoying enough, but during a pandemic, they only make life more difficult.

Deborah Buchholz tells the Problem Solvers she’s received 15 text messages over the past 13 days from strangers asking her to buy cannabis products. She is afraid she is being targeted by scammers.

“It’s very fearful to know that you could be hacked like that and have things you worked for so hard taken away in just a swipe. It’s just not right,” she said.

Public health officials started reporting complaints about scams involving fake COVID-19 remedies in March. Some fraud operations tried to entice victims into clicking on links in order to buy fake test kits. Others sold fake CBD “cures.”

Dr. Sarah Cohen of Resource Medical Center says research is still being done on CBD’s effect on the coronavirus.

“We are far from making any declarative statements about the benefits versus the risks of using cannabis,” she said.

Internet security expert Brian Cather of CP Cyber says crooks are constantly gathering contact information on the Dark Web from security breaches.

“These attackers can buy that record for cents on the dollar,” Cather said, adding, “They’re after Social Security numbers and financial information.”

Security experts say the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to never click on links in emails and texts from strangers and let phone calls from unknown sources go to voicemail.

If you suspect you are being targeted by scammers, you can file a report with the state Attorney General’s Office.

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