Unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic is bringing out some scammers, trying to take advantage of people's fears.
These few bad apples stand out in the kindness, caring and generosity that describe how most people are responding to the virus. Every day I see examples of this -- throughout Contra Costa County.
But there are steps we can take to protect ourselves and our loved ones from scams and fraud.
Here are a few basics:
- Don't open links or attachments from unknown sources, as this can introduce computer viruses.
- Hang-up on robocalls, unless you know and trust the caller, including calls offering COVID-19 treatments, cures, health plans, or financial assistance.
- With all COVID-19 solicitations or promises, don't respond unless you know and trust the source. This includes emails, website ads, and paper mail.
- Don't engage with strangers who knock on your door offering COVID-19 sales pitches. Gently close the door.
- Don't share your personal information with anyone you don't know and trust, including social security, passport, driver's license, Medi-Cal or Medicare numbers.
- Be skeptical. When in doubt, ask a trusted friend or relative.
- Before donating to a charity, check it out to make sure it's honest, ethical, and reliable. Charity Navigator is a good online tool for doing this. (Local donation ideas.)
Check out this video from the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office on protecting yourself from scams. It goes into more detail on these tips.
More information: State Attorney General's COVID-19 consumer resources.
If you, or someone you know, suspects being targeted by a scam or fraud, contact the Contra Costa County Fraud Hotline at 925-957-8608 or email
And let's remember,
Stay in place, maintain your space, cover your face!