BBB Warns Against Swine Flu Scams

  
     
February 26, 2010

I’m sure you’ve seen the news reports this week about the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and that it has been confirmed in the U.S., in at least 11 states. Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has declared a public heath emergency.

Anytime there is a global headline of a pandemic or emergency it attracts attention and people want as much information as possible to protect their families. Scammers know this and prey on these emotions to lure you into becoming a victim.

Schemes could be in the form of malware or spyware that gets downloaded onto your computer when you open an email about swine flu or it could be someone trying to scam you out of spending money to protect yourself. There are scammers selling a “Swine Flu Survival Guide” document and online pharmacies selling “swine flu vaccines.”

Don’t become a victim:

Avoid opening email from an unknown source and do not click any links in the body of an email or open any attachments. Be safe – just delete it!

Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date and all operating system security patches have been installed.

Don’t believe online offers for vaccinations against swine flu, if you have symptoms, call your doctor.

Always rely on trusted sources for information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Posts are at: www.cdc.gov/swineflu.

Always do business with BBB Accredited Businesses, search our Accredited Business Directory.

Fears of a pandemic are not new to us, if you remember in 2003 an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) occurred, and in 2006 bird flu was a concern. Hopefully this too shall pass and we will rely on the experts to decide what we need to do to prepare if it does not. In the meantime, make sure to exercise extreme caution on the internet or in your inbox relating to swine flu.