Whilst we have seen many communities and organisations come together to support one another, unfortunately there are those that attempt to make financial gain by exploiting the fears of the public. This comes in the form of scams via email, phone call and other regular forms of contact.
The intelligence team at Sonder have already seen the following reports:
- Phishing emails and phone calls impersonating legitimate organisations (these include people pretending to be the World Health Organisation; charities; government authorities; travel agents and telecommunications companies).
- Products claiming to be a vaccine, prevention, or cure for the coronavirus.
- Misinformation about COVID-19, being sent by text, social media and email.
- Investment scams claiming coronavirus has created wealth opportunities.
Often, these kind of scams have the intention of taking payment from the innocent party. It is important to be aware of this to avoid undue financial, physical and mental stress.
If you come across claims of a vaccine or cure, methods of detection of COVID-19 or statistics regarding the spread and effects of COVID-19, there are plenty of reliable sources you can turn to for validation:
- The World Health Organisation. Their primary role is to direct international health within the United Nations' system and to lead partners in global health responses. They have a dedicated information feed available on their website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which is the national public health institute of the United States.
- The Australian Department of Health that provides country-wide information on COVID-19.
- The New Zealand Ministry of Health website provides country-wide information on COVID-19.
- The Australian Government ScamWatch page for COVID-19 related scams.
- This Google page, which has collated verified sources of information for you.