AG warns phishing scams still a problem during pandemic

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Coronavirus scam alert (Getty Images)

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – With all of the different ways people can get access to others – whether it be email, by phone, or social media – one needs to be ever vigilant and on the lookout for scams where someone you don’t know is asking for your personal information. It doesn’t help that since the pandemic began, phishing scams have become more prevalent.

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Back in March, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a consumer safety advisory, warning of the potential of such scams. One involved a caller impersonating a representative from the COVID-19 Hotline or another medical entity. The caller would ask for personal information like social security numbers and date of birth and insist the information is needed to release COVID-19 testing results. Any confirmation of a positive COVID-19 swab test would actually come from the clinic where a test was taken or by the New Mexico Department of Health.

Some scams have even gone as far as people claiming they have a cure for the coronavirus. Any company claiming to make a product that prevents, diagnoses, treats, or cures COVID-19 without competent medical research supporting their claims is breaking the law. There is no credible evidence that coronavirus can be cured by drinking bleach or colloidal silver, taking herbal supplements, or using other homeopathic remedies. There currently is no FDA-approved cure for the virus.

And when the vaccine started to become available in late 2020, Balderas issued a warning regarding COVID-19 vaccine scams where individuals would trick people into buying fake vaccines. “We will not tolerate fraud and scams in the delivery of this critical vaccine,” said Balderas in a news release. “Unfortunately during this pandemic, we have seen the rise of individuals who are looking to take advantage of the fear and vulnerability of our families in these uncertain times; but New Mexicans should remain confident in the advice of healthcare professionals and the law enforcement community, who are working diligently to make sure we all stay safe.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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