Coronavirus Scammers Targeting People Sheltering at Home: Police

Hialeah Sgt. Yoshua Garfinkel warns crooks are coming up with coronavirus-themed tricks

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You’re staying home, doing your best to steer clear of coronavirus, but police say scammers are still after you.

Rebecca Easley Li got a suspicious text on her phone last Tuesday, one urging her to tap a link.

"It said 'don't drive until you've clicked on this message,' so you know, everything about it sounded like a scam,” said Easley Li.

She didn't tap it, and NBC 6 showed the text to Sgt. Yoshua Garfinkel of Hialeah Police. He confirmed her suspicions.

"That’s called 'smishing,'" Garfinkel said. "A phishing type of scam can come on the internet through email, but a smishing comes through SMS text messaging."

They both have the same goal.

"Bad actors who are trying to commit fraud," Garfinkel said.

Garfinkel said scammers are trying to take advantage of coronavirus fears.

"You may see an email that comes across saying 'coronavirus update' or 'coronavirus information,' you click on the link and that might actually install a virus into your computer system, rendering it inoperable," Garfinkel said.

So what’s the best thing to do?

"Erase it," said Garfinkel. "And don't comply with anything they ask."

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