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COVID-19 Update

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Think Before You Click: Protect Yourself from Internet Scams

 

Rumors and misinformation are inevitable, and understandably, events like COVID-19 can cause stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, internet scammers are often waiting to take advantage of public trust. Buncombe County Information Technology urges everyone in our community to think before you click and exercise caution in handling emails, texts, or phone calls related to COVID-19 or coronavirus.

Hackers may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick you into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.

A few things you can do to prevent these types of scams:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Use trusted sources for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on charity scams for more information.

One way to be prepared is to connect with accurate information. As always, the CDC website offers the most accurate information on COVID-19.

In Buncombe County, information can be found at buncombecounty.org/bcready. Sign up for Buncombe County’s Emergency Notification alerts by texting BCALERT to 888-777, in the City of Asheville you can also sign up for AVL Alerts. For general questions and assistance, you can call the statewide coronavirus helpline which is answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 1-866-462-3821.