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Retired Chesterfield professor warns of 'coronavirus stimulus' text message scam

"Don't click on it. If it seems too good to be true, it is."
Posted at 11:46 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 16:20:07-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Less than one hour after a possible stimulus in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic was mentioned by President Trump, a Chesterfield man got a specific text message urging him to click on a link and get his money early.

Professor Oliver Hedgepeth, a retired professor from the University of Alaska, said that over the course of the next few days or weeks, you may be exposed to a link that could infects your phone or computer depending on where you click.

"I got a text message that said because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are giving out emergency money to cover every day costs and then there was a link," Hedgepeth said.

"You'll have people all over the world that'll randomly send text messages and if you click the link, they got you,” said Miles Turner from Law Enforcement, LLC. “They'll send malware, spyware or even worse ransomware where you have to pay money to get your data back."

Turner said while he knows these are anxious times and people are stressed about where their next check or meal may come from, everyone must read text messages and emails closely in order to not fall into a scammer’s trap.

"If you aren't expecting the message, don't click on it. It can come via email also. Don't click on it. If it seems too good to be true, it is."