COVID-19: LOCAL NEWS

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Saugus Police warn of COVID-19 scams

SAUGUS — Saugus Police are warning residents about potential COVID-19 scams, which could include requests for donations or the sale of products that scammers claim will cure, prevent or detect the virus. 

Residents should not participate in any coronavirus testing from door-to-door solicitors, people who approach them at grocery stores or other community venues, or solicitors who call requesting financial information in return for a test, and they should not mail COVID-19 test offerings, said Interim Police Chief Ronald Giorgetti. 

Giorgetti is warning residents not to provide any personal information, medicare numbers, money or home access to people soliciting tests. If a testing kit is mailed to residents, they should not accept it, but rather return the test to the sender and contact the local authorities immediately. 

“During times of uncertainty, it’s not uncommon to see scammers try to take advantage of vulnerable residents,” said Giorgetti in a statement. “We want to reiterate how important it is to put proper research into offers, pay attention to official information regarding COVID-19 and alert authorities of any suspicious activity you might encounter.”

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office provides these tips for residents to protect themselves from other scams and frauds.

Watch out for high-priced or low-quality products. Report any retailers that inflate prices on products such as hand sanitizers and face masks. 
Beware of false and misleading information being spread online. Use reputable sources, such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. 
Keep an eye out for unauthorized or fraudulent charities or solicitations. Before donating to a coronavirus charity, make sure the charity is legitimate. 

If anyone has questions or believes they have been victimized, they should call the Saugus Police Department at (781) 941-1199. 

Massachusetts residents who believe they are victims of fraud or other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact the U.S. Attorney’s office at USAMA.victimassistance@usdoj.gov or call 1-888-221-6023 and leave a message. They can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center by visiting www.IC3.gov.