Be on the lookout for a text scam with COVID-19 twist

Be on the lookout for a text scam with COVID-19 twist
FOX19′s tech expert wants to warn the public about a text message scam with a new coronavirus twist. (Source: WXIX)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - There’s a new text scam out there that plays on people’s concerns about COVID-19.

It asks people to be a ‘store evaluator’ for $400.

“Unfortunately, it’s really hard to trust anything anymore because it’s so easy for folks to send these spoof emails and spoof texts,” tech expert Dave Hatter said.

This time around, scammers have tailored the message to be more relatable by folding the coronavirus pandemic into the message.

“They’re trying to leverage any type of angle you can possibly imagine in terms of these types of scams and, it’s easy for them. Again, it’s easy to send out very realistic looking emails or text messages,” Hatter said.

There are obvious issues with the text which prove it isn’t the real deal.

Hatter says bad grammar and punctuation are red flags that the message isn’t from a legitimate source.

“Just a reminder, it is easy for the bad guys to go copy stuff from a legitimate site to give their text or their email an added layer of authenticity,” Hatter explained.

Clicking the link can open your phone or tablet up to several different attacks from scammers; Hatter says it’s best to ignore the message.

“Notice it doesn’t say ‘Whole Foods’ in the link. When you click that link, there is no telling where that’s going to take you. That’s one of the ways they make the scams seem less malicious is they use these link shorteners, so you can’t really tell where it’s going to go,” Hatter says.

If you’re suspicious, experts say to just ignore the message.

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