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FBI says watch out for scammers using email to steal from you during coronavirus pandemic

Local News
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) The FBI says criminals are trying to take advantage of the fear created by the coronavirus. So Local 5 spoke with one local agent, to find out how you can avoid being taken.

According to the FBI, across the U.S. there is a surge in cyber crimes, committed by scammers, hoping to profit during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s crazy, it is really crazy, what this world has come too.”

According to Special Agent Robert Hughes, the head of the FBI’s Milwaukee field office, scammers are attempting to take advantage of the fact that millions of people are now staying in their homes.

“Obviously right now a lot of people are working from home, their kids are at home, so what are they doing? They are like me and you, they are on the computer using the internet,” said Hughes.

Because of that, Hughes says inboxes are being flooded and we all need to be careful.

“Sending out emails, trying to get people to contribute money to fake organizations, fake things, to buy fake things,” he said.

Hughes says there are emails circulating claiming to be from the CDC with information on the coronavirus and others offering masks or special cleaning supplies for sale. But in reality the senders have other motives.

“They are either soliciting information from you or they are putting some kind of virus on your computer through the email they are sending you,” Hughes said.

To avoid being taken don’t open suspicious email, never give out personal information and don’t click on unfamiliar links. And if you do become a victim, always report it to the FBI.

“We have people on staff 24/7, we’re going to continue to respond to these folks, we’re going to continue to investigate, conduct these investigations and we’re going to catch these folks,” Hughes said.

Scammers who have ramped up their attacks during this crisis, trying to reach the many now staying at home. If impacted you can file an FBI internet crime complaint online.

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