Experts say coronavirus scams are coming

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 7:24 PM CDT
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Experts say emergency circumstances like a pandemic are the ideal situation for scams to surface.

North Dakota Assistant Attorney General Parrell Grossman says in the coming weeks we will see an endless variety of coronavirus related scams. He breaks them down into three categories.

First, are phishing scams. These are fake emails or pop ups sent to consumers claiming to be a medical entity. When you open the message it could download malware to your computer and steal your identity.

Second, are fake charities. He says these crop up during natural disasters. The fake charity may hide behind the guise of a familiar name with the goal of stealing your money.

Third, are fake solicitations or "nondelivery" scams. These scams will claim to be selling illegitimate medical supplies and equipment such as test kits or vaccines.

Grossman says these scams are easy traps to fall into if you're not careful.

"A lot of these just have a very emotional appeal. These con artists are very practiced in their approach. They talk to hundreds or thousands of people. This is what they do," said Grossman.

Grossman says scammers prey on consumers' fear and the need for a quick and simple solution.

If you believe you've been a victim of a scam, you can file a consumer complaint online at