Coronavirus Scams: Questions and Answers
Author: Auger Law | April 9th, 2020
We are sharing this information to help address common concerns that we are hearing right now from our past, current and prospective clients during this unprecedented time. If you have a specific question you would like answered, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Q: I saw an advertisement for a Coronavirus treatment/supplement/cure, is it a scam?
A: Buyers Beware! The old saying about being too good to be true has never been more relevant than now. We have seen numerous products for sale on the internet that are being marketed to the fears of potential buyers. At this time there is no cure for Coronavirus. At this time there is no vaccine. There have been reported cases of televangelists and others marketing all kinds of miracle treatments for the Coronavirus. Please do not fall for these scams. If you have any questions about your health and what you should do to prevent or treat the Coronavirus, you should direct those inquires to legitimate resources including your own physician. There are plenty of legitimate websites including www.cdc.gov, www.hhs.gov, https://www.ncdhhs.gov/ and https://www.scdhhs.gov/ that provide good and accurate information that may be helpful to you and your loved ones. Again, if you have questions about your health and the Coronavirus, please contact a legitimate source for assistance – your own physician is probably your best bet.
Q: All kinds of different individuals and companies are selling masks and I don’t know what to buy or wear. Do I need to wear a mask out in public?
A: At this time the Federal Government has recommended that besides social distancing, wearing a face covering while out in public may be an additional measure to help flatten the curve. Please note that wearing a mask or other covering in public is a voluntary recommendation and it should not be done to replace the required social distancing orders that have been enacted. Please be careful with online purchases relating to masks and face coverings. There has been a significant increase in the number of vendors that are selling these items. Please note that all masks and covering are not created equal and one school of though on wearing masks in public suggests that the benefit is not actually protecting the person wearing the mask but actually preventing asymptomatic virus carriers from transmitting the virus to others. The bottom line is that at this time you are not required to wear a mask and that spending a lot of money on masks and face coverings may not actually prevent you from contracting the Coronavirus.
Q: There are many different government programs right now for people financially impacted by the Coronavirus. What should I do if I get a call, text or email from someone offering to help me apply for Coronavirus assistance?
A: Don’t do anything! For most people, the main government benefits for Coronavirus victims will be unemployment benefits and cash received from the stimulus program. Please note that there are many other different types of programs for small businesses and other companies but today we have heard of individuals being preyed upon because they are expecting stimulus cash or unemployment checks. Most people expecting stimulus money will not have to do anything. If you have filed taxes in the last 2 years then the government should have your mailing address and/or your bank account information and that is all that they will need to be able to for send you a check in the mail or via direct deposit. Most people will not have to do anything but just be patient and wait. The IRS will not be calling you to confirm your social security number or other private information. Anyone calling, texting or emailing you asking for your information is probably a scam artist either looking to use your private info for a Phishing scheme. The same applies for unemployment benefits. To apply for unemployment, you need to submit an application to the state where you reside. Unemployment benefits are usually sent in the mail or direct deposit and again – corresponded regarding those benefits does not come unsolicited through phone calls, texts or emails. Always think twice before giving any personal information to anyone. If it does not seem right, it probably isn’t.
Here is a link for info about stimulus money: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments
Here is a link for information about North Carolina unemployment applications:
Here is a link for information about South Carolina unemployment applications:
Auger & Auger Law Firm has been protecting the rights of injured North and South Carolinians for over 25 years. While we have thankfully never had to live and work during such an unprecedented and rapidly changing time, we are doing our best to adapt and make all of the necessary changes to efficiently support our team so that we can continue to work hard for our clients. Our main office in Charlotte, NC is currently staffed with management and the bulk of our team is working remotely. All necessary meetings with current clients are being attended through phone and/or video conferencing. A technologically friendly law firm, we have been working with new and prospective clients using teleconferencing and email for almost a decade. While this new way of life is challenging and unsettling, we remain focused on being a resource for the communities that we serve. If we can be of any assistance to you, please contact us at 704-364-3361. Our phones are always answered 24/7. We appreciate your consideration and we wish you safety and good health.