It is an unfortunate reality that, regardless of the situation, someone will try to take advantage of it – and other people, too.
The Connecticut Better Business Bureau recently posted a warning on their web site advising consumers to be on the lookout for fraudulent e-mails and web sites trying to take advantage of the current swine flu outbreak. In the warning, Connecticut Better Business Bureau President Paulette Scarpetti says scammers are using news headlines and fear in an effort to fool the public.
“Everybody is watching the swine flu epidemic and the chance of a pandemic, including criminals, who know how to turn fear into opportunity,” she stated.
Legitimate information on swine flu and updates on progress in fighting the outbreak is available free of charge at the CDC’s swine flu information page.
The Connecticut BBB offers the following advice to avoid swine flu scams:
-Don’t believe online offers for vaccinations against swine flu because a vaccine does not exist, although Protein Sciences, a Meriden, Connecticut-based company, says they can have one developed within 6 weeks.
-Avoid opening e-mail from an unknown source and do not click on any links in the body of the e-mail or open any attachments. Instead, delete the e-mail or report it to the Federal Trade Commission by forwarding the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up to date and all operating system security patches have been installed. If your computer becomes infected as the result of a spam e-mail about swine flu, you can report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s web site.