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COVID-19 scams: Boca Raton man says scammers tried to sell him a fake coronavirus test

Fake Test Coronavirus
Posted at 3:20 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 17:47:02-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. – If you get a knock on your door, officials are warning you to be careful of people peddling scams tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Contact 5 investigator Merris Badcock talked to one man in Boca Raton who says it happened to him.

RELATED: PBSO warns community about fake CDC, department of health workers

“It is just a shame that there are people scamming already with everything that’s going on,” said Boca Raton resident Morris Umansky, speaking to Contact 5 from a FaceTime call.

A few days earlier, Umansky was getting his home ready in case he had to self-quarantine when two strangers showed up.

“They were knocking on doors and they were asking people if they wanted coronavirus tests for $300!” Umanksy told Contact 5 investigator Merris Badcock “They weren’t getting three cents out of me. I was ready to call the police immediately.”

He said the scammers were dressed in Florida business casual attire and were carrying plastic bags and Q-tips, but no gloves, masks or credentials.

“I said, 'I'm going to call my doctor to make sure it is OK.' By the time I got back to the door, they were gone.”

Umansky called 911 and sent texts and emails to his friends about the potential scammers.

“I do not think the CDC or health department is going to send people to your door unless you know about it beforehand,” Umansky said.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says other common scams around the nation include:

• Fake cures for COVID-19 for sale online

• Phishing emails sent from people posing as the World Heath Organization or the CDC

• Malware on mobile apps designed to track the spread of the virus.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office also issued a warning on social media against people showing up to homes dressed in lab coats, claiming to be with the CDC to test people for the virus.

In the end, Umansky was happy to share his story with Contact 5 because he hopes it will help others out there during this anxious and unsure time.

“Try and help your neighbors. Try and help all the people in your community. Go to the store for them get them a loaf of bread if you have to. Be kind to your neighbors,” he said.

Remember, do not open the door for anyone you do not know. When in doubt, call 911 or the non-emergency phone number of your local police department. Don’t forget to warn neighbors, friends and family if you see something suspicious.