As COVID-19 Scams Increase, Sheriff Webre issues another Warning

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre is once more warning residents to be cautious of scams related to the COVID-19 outbreak. 



 

These scams could come in the form of email, telephone calls or even misinformation on social media LPSO said. 

 

“As this public health emergency intensifies, scammers are ramping up their efforts to take advantage of people,” Webre said. “We urge everyone to be suspicious of anyone initiating contact regarding COVID-19 and selling products for prevention, protection or recovery.”

 

Webre cautions citizens to be wary of emails advertising any kind of financial relief, work-at-home schemes, unproven treatments for COVID-19 and healthcare plans.



 

Con artists may also create fraudulent online donation accounts and investment scams, according to LPSO.

 

A Lafourche Parish resident recently received a call from someone claiming to be from a local utility company demanding immediate payment in the form of a money order or gift card, LPSO said, which is “an example of a common utility scam that may become more prevalent during this emergency.”

 

LPSO listed common characteristics of the numerous types of scams: 



  • You are told to send money to receive money or prizes.
  • You are told to pay immediately via prepaid debit card, gift card, or electronic money order.
  • A caller uses threatening, offensive or vulgar language.

 

“No matter how sophisticated the scam or what type it is, we typically see one or more of these common signs,” Webre said. “If you believe you are dealing with a scammer, hang up or delete the email immediately.”

 

The Sheriff’s Office also listed ways to avoid scams: 

 

“To avoid phishing scams, type out a website address in your browser instead of clicking on a link in an email or text message. When shopping online, look for the “secure” icon in the address bar, or check that the website address begins with “https.” Consumers are encouraged to shop with companies you know and trust and avoid public Wi-Fi to shop from a mobile device.



 

To avoid scams on social media, only click links from trusted sources, and do not share posts from random sources or individuals. Remember that after you have shared a post, the person or page who posted can change the content without notification or warning.”

To learn more about COVID-19 scams, visit www.FTC.gov/coronavirus or www.bbb.org/coronavirus.