Westchester D.A. Scarpino Raises Alarm on Coronavirus Scams

The DA’s Office is amplifying warnings regarding Coronavirus and actions being taken by other state and federal offices including the NY Attorney General, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other law enforcement agencies.

The DA has directed our Westchester Intelligence Center to monitor interagency data and alerts re: potential fraud as well as monitoring social media which may be spreading false information and trolling for cyber victims related to the virus outbreak. At this time, we have no reports of scams here in Westchester.

What do scams look like?

Only Give Money to Legitimate Charities
If you receive phone calls asking for charitable donations related to coronavirus outbreaks either in the U.S. or oversees, do not give credit card information. Do not send money or gift cards.

Avoid E-mail Phishing Attacks
Malicious cyber actors could take advantage of public concern surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by conducting phishing attacks and disinformation campaigns. Phishing attacks often use a combination of email and bogus websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information.

We encourage individuals to guard against COVID-19-related phishing attacks and disinformation campaigns by taking the following precautions:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in emails, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.

If online fundraisers, like GoFundMe campaigns, are being circulated, do not respond unless you personally know the recipient of the money.

Bogus Products
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently no products, drugs, supplements or vaccines available to target or help cure COVID19. Whether sold via e-mail, over the Internet or door-to-door, do not buy.

Note to County residents: If you have fallen victim to any of these kinds of scams, keep any written or digital records you may have, and notify the DA’s Office by calling (914) 995-3414.

We encourage you to turn to trusted sources of information—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.

Reminder regarding medical and other questions:

  • For Westchester County COVID-19 Information Call the Westchester County Help Line at 211.
  • The NYS Department of Health experts are available to answer questions regarding COVID-19 via phone. Call the Hotline (888) 364-3065.


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