Riverside police are advising residents and others to be on guard for scam artists seeking to exploit the coronavirus state of emergency.

“Some folks have received calls or texts from scammers soliciting donations while claiming to be from the Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control, even the World Health Organization,” Officer Danielle Levett said. “People have also gone door to door saying they’re authorized to do home-testing for the coronavirus.”

According to Levett, the police department has taken several reports related to the scams, but no suspects have been identified or arrested.

The officer said there have been instances in and around Riverside where fraud perpetrators have “pitched investment opportunities connected to COVID-19.”

“Unfortunately, during times of crisis, people try to take advantage of others through false pretenses,” Levett said. “Be cautious of calls, texts or emails asking for money donations. Don’t let anyone in your home who says they’re doing testing if you did not personally schedule or arrange for it.”

She directed people interested in tracking coronavirus updates and gleaning more information about potential sources of fraud to visit www.RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19.

Anyone concerned that they have been targeted by scam artists was encouraged to contact police.

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