The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens about various scams that have popped up in recently days to cash in on the COVID-19 situation.

Reported scams typically involve phone calls, text messages or emails that solicit funds or sensitive information, said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, such as names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, bank account information or credit card numbers.

“Some messages purport to be from county or state health officials claiming the recipient has been contaminated with the coronavirus,” said Lopey. Others seek a credit card number to obtain shipment of medication or test kits.

“Oftentimes clicking on a link sent via a computer results in the introduction of a malware virus that could expose your personal information and messaging systems to disclosure criminals could exploit for personal gain,” Lopey said.

“We urge all citizens to realize health care emergencies bring out the best and sometimes the worst in people. Please do not provide money, credit card information, bank account numbers, or any other personal information to anyone soliciting funds for COVID-19 or pandemic-related supplies, tests, services, or any other purpose.”

Businesses have also fallen victim to scams through the solicitation of coronavirus-themed charities.

Lopey suggested the public practice caution with regard to links, images, and attachments in emails related to COVID-19.

He urged people to avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and to use trusted sources from legitimate government websites for accurate, up-to-date information on COVID-19.

If in doubt about a charity, before making donations of any kind, review the Federal Trade Commissions (TDC) Charity Scams page.

“Siskiyou County Health Department officials have implemented testing protocols and thus far, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Siskiyou County, despite false internet claims to the contrary,” said Lopey on Thursday afternoon, March 20. “County health officials have coordinated their efforts with local, state, and federal health care providers and they do not solicit personal information or funds over the phone, computer, internet, fax, texts, or by any other electronic means.”

Lopey asked the public to report possible scams to their local law enforcement agency. For the unincorporated areas of Siskiyou County, as well as the twos of Dunsmuir, Montague or Dorris, that’s the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. Their 24-hour Dispatch Center at can be reached at (530) 841-2900.

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