Georgia's Sec. of State warns about coronavirus investment scams

The Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, talked to FOX 5 on the phone about possible scammers who may use the coronavirus crisis as bait.

“The FBI arrested someone in California for claiming to have a cure,” said Sec. Raffensperger.

He’s talking about 53-year-old Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, a California actor who allegedly solicited investments in a company that claimed to have a cure for COVID -19.

“Whenever you have a crisis these scam artists come out of the woodwork,” said Sec. Raffensperger.

LIVE: Interactive map tracks global spread of COVID-19

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently suspended two other companies on similar allegations, claiming to have products to treat the coronavirus.

The secretary said the biggest concern for consumers right now are these types of “pump and dump” schemes.

He said the best way to protect you and your family is to do your research about whether they are a legitimate company registered with the state or the SEC.

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Best prevention measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces


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