Well, that didn’t take long.

That the first COVID-19 scams began to appear in email inboxes and telephone calls within days of the virus being declared a pandemic should surprise exactly nobody.

Yet, a lot of us nobodies out there are falling for phishing schemes and telephone/television scams to the tune of more than $1 million lost by UK citizens alone just in February.

Now that the virus is in full effect in the United States, expect more of the same. Recently, the FBI has issued a coronavirus warning after noting a “significant spike” in such scams. From television preachers offering to heal you of the virus (“silver solution”) to free iPhones for clicking on a link, the opportunities to get cheated and swindled abound. For a representative sample, Forbes has assembled a running list of the most current and destructive at https://tinyurl.com/spsp794.

The hardest of these to detect play on our fear and curiosity. All of us are eager for the latest news about the virus — which is what a lot of emails link promise … with an unhealthy dose of malware attached.

Staying vigilant and alert to the possibilities of getting scammed are a first step. But as always, trust your news source. A single click is all that separates you from those who would mean you harm even — especially — during a global crisis.

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