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Combating COVID-19 Misinformation

Photo of an iPhone by dole777 on Unsplash
© Photo by dole777 on Unsplash
Right now, no other topic is covered as widely in the media COVID-19. Unfortunately, the insecurity and fears about the virus also contribute to the rapid spread of misinformation and rumors, especially via social media and elsewhere on the internet. (updated 8/5/2021)

Please be aware there have been massive spikes in phishing emails about COVID-19. While you should always be cautious, be even more diligent and careful when opening links and attachments during this time.

It’s ok to click on links when you’re on trusted sites. Clicking on links that appear in random emails and instant messages, however, is never a good idea. Hover over links that you are unsure of before clicking on them. Do they lead where they are supposed to lead?
 
A phishing email may claim to be from a legitimate company and when you click the link to the website, it may look exactly like the real website but it's actually a phishing site. It's better to go directly to a site than click on a questionable link.
 
In addition to phishing emails, it is more important now than ever to be aware of the spike of misinformation about the pandemic on social media and the internet. We have found some sources to help you figure out what’s reliable and what isn’t. 
 
COVID Explained 
 
A Guide to Fighting Lies, Fake News, and Chaos Online - The Verge
This guide gives you tips for dealing with misinformation at any time. Not just during this pandemic.

Factcheck.org Guide to misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic.
https://www.factcheck.org/a-guide-to-our-coronavirus-coverage/
 
How to Avoid Misinformation About COVID-19
 
The CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance Database
 
FEMA's Coronavirus Rumor Control  https://www.fema.gov/Coronavirus-Rumor-Control
 
WHO's Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters
 
Scammers using fake antibody test to steal information, FBI warns
 
BBB Scam Alert: As COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, scammers cash in
 
Attorney General warns about COVID vaccination card scams
 
Resources to help you avoid COVID scams
 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set up a new toll-free telephone number (877-355-0213) for tips on how to avoid COVID vaccine scams. If you call the Helpline, you will hear these tips in English or Spanish:
  • You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine. That’s a scam.
  • You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine. That’s a scam.
  • Nobody legit will call, text, or email about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. That’s a scam.

For more FTC tips visit https://www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams-consumer-advice

 
 

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