PORTLAND, Ore. — It should come as no surprise that scammers are trying to cash in on coronavirus fears.

Daniel Kane, Oregon State Director of the Better Business Bureau, said consumers should be on the lookout for several recent scams.

“When people are at their most vulnerable, is when con artists come out,” said Kane.

Mask complaints

At least nine consumers have complained on BBB’s scam tracker about a company called EM General.

People said they ordered and paid for N-95 masks that never arrived. Customers are out more than $630. Other customers say they've ordered masks on separate websites and received counterfeit or knock-off items.

The CDC recommends people without coronavirus symptoms to not wear masks.

Bogus products
Kane also said to beware of companies selling products claiming to protect or treat you from the virus.

The FDA and FTC warned seven companies to stop making these claims last week.

“This can look like all-natural remedies, different pills, but just things being sold online,” said Kane.

Imposter scam

Kane said the ever-present imposter phone scam is back but instead of scammers pretending to be with the IRS, they are trying to sell people bogus health care plans.

An employee with the BBB received an ominous-sounding voicemail where the called claimed “The coronavirus is spreading, keep your family safe and secure. Speak to one of our health agents now to get you covered. Now is the time to act, don't be too late.”

Kane warns this is just an attempt to get your personal information.

“They are trying to get people to call them back to share personal information, bank account numbers or health history and that is not something you should be sharing with a stranger,” said Kane.

Do you have a coronavirus claim you want us to check out? Email Cristin at CallCristin@kgw.com.

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