Do Crises Bring Out the Worst in People?


During the coronavirus crisis we’ve seen neighbors helping neighbors, people cheering on healthcare workers, and recognition for grocery store workers and others who help sustain the population and try to keep us as comfortable as possible, given the circumstances. Crises seem to bring out the best in people.

However, there are always a few “bad apples,” such as individuals who prey on the fears of concerned individuals for profit. Scammers are omnipresent in times of crisis. One should always remember that, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are some examples of current “scams.”

There’s No Cure for the Coronavirus

A popular Instagram influencer was arrested when he delivered pills alleged to be a coronavirus “cure” to an undercover FBI agent. Said individual was charged with one count of attempted wire fraud, in the first criminal fraud case that the US Justice Department decided to prosecute during the coronavirus pandemic.

Certain other individuals are selling “cures” for coronavirus, such as teas, essential oils, and drugs. However, currently, there is no approved cure for the coronavirus. Although several drug trials are in process, there has been no approved, reliable cure for COVID-19. In addition to money lost on its purchase, any “cure” may have a negative effect on one’s health.

Of course, should you suspect that you may be infected with COVID-19, contact your doctor.

Tests For Coronavirus Are Administered by Healthcare Professionals

Scammers are selling coronavirus testing kits online. However, authorized coronavirus tests are not for sale to the general public, as the tests must be ordered by a doctor. Any testing kits marketed and sold online should not be considered reliable.

Never Share Personal Information

Lastly, scammers have been requesting individuals’ mortgage information and social security numbers, portending to require this information to allow the individual to receive his or her $1200 stimulus check. However, the government does not require this information, and there is no need to “call-in”, or “sign up” to receive these checks. Moreover, for those who file tax returns electronically, stimulus funds will be directly deposited into bank accounts.

Please remember to rely only on trusted organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for news and information on the coronavirus.

Scott Bonebrake practices law in Media, PA, and has been a licensed attorney for 25 years. Please feel free to contact Scott if you have any legal questions including those regarding coronavirus scams. You can reach Scott at 610-892-7700, or at