Local law enforcement officials said Thursday, March 26, that they have received no reports of scammers thus far due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King said his department hasn't gotten any complaints, and if they did, immediate action will be taken.
"We would make contact and try to get ahold of that person. We are still out in full force and arresting people," said King. "But to my knowledge, we have't had any reports of anyone scamming."
Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault said there have been no reports in his office, either.
"If they don't report them, then I won't know about them, but we haven't had any reports on anything," Chennault said.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter issued a consumer alert earlier this week after there were reports of people trying to sell at-home tests for COVID-19. Hunter said Oklahomans need to be on high alert for scammers during the pandemic.
"There are currently no credible test kits on the market for the coronavirus that someone can administer in their home," said Hunter. "Additionally, no health care provider, or other individual credentialed to administer tests for the virus, will call and offer to test people at random. Oklahomans need to be on notice that this fraud is happening in our state, and it will likely become even more prevalent in the coming days. Never purchase these tests, and report the individuals trying to sell them to my office or a local law enforcement authority."
Testing for the virus can only be conducted in a verified laboratory. The results or the status of pending tests will be given over the phone.
CPR Call Blocker is warning Oklahomans to be vigilant, as scam calls will likely increase over the next few weeks. The same is true for email fraud.
Fake test kits, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. fraud calls, and charity, health care provider, or student loan scams are considered the top five active fraud situations Oklahomans should watch out for during the outbreak.
Chelsea Davies of CPR Call Blocker said scammers will take advantage of people who are home and distracted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When we're feeling vulnerable or distracted, it can be too easy to say 'yes' to something without checking first whether it's genuine," said Davies. "We're warning people in Oklahoma to bear this in mind, and we would always strongly recommend never giving your bank details or paying for something over the phone that you're unsure of - especially if the call you receive is the first time you have heard of any payment that needs to be made."
Oklahomans are advised to register with the National Do Not Call Registry, consider getting a call blocker, and refuse to consent to being contacted.