Oklahoma woman warning of COVID-19 scams after 67-year-old mother contacted by scammers

CARTER COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - An Oklahoma woman is warning others of online scams related to COVID-19 after she says her mother was almost a victim.

Michelle Smith's 67-year-old mother, Janice, lives in Wilson.

Smith said her mother got a text on Tuesday with the sender saying they would give out emergency money for groceries and instructed Janice to click on the link.

"She screenshot it and sent it to me," Smith said. "I said 'Don't do anything with it. I'll call the sheriff's department and see if they know anything about it'."

The Carter County sheriff's office said it takes reports of online scams and encourages anyone who may have been a victim to contact their local law enforcement as soon as possible.

The office said it has not received many reports of scams related to COVID-19 but it does expect more in the future.

"I just don't want people taking advantage of the older generation right now," Smith said. "So many of them think 'OK, well, I need help right now and they're going to give me money so I'm going to give them my information' and, then, there you go."

The Federal Trade Commission has this advice:

Do not click on links from sources you do not know and ignore online offers for vaccinations. The FTC said, right now, there are no products able to treat or cure COVID-19.

It also recommends doing your research before donating to charities.

"Just make sure you protect your information and don't give it out," Smith said.