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  • March 15, 2020

Public concerns about the global coronavirus pandemic have inspired a wave of dubious robocalls that seem to exploit consumer fears amid ongoing uncertainty about the COVID-19 crisis, according to YouMail Inc., creator of the YouMail Robocall Index™.

YouMail researchers have uncovered robocalls referring to the coronavirus to promote an Amazon work-from-home scam, an HVAC cleaning scam, as well as two highly questionable marketing robocalls promoting coronavirus health services and supplements; a series of robocalls pushing political surveys; and many other robocalls involving legitimate efforts by school districts and other agencies to issue relevant public service announcements.

“The current robocalls we’ve identified are likely the first in what will likely be a quickly expanding set of robocalls leveraging the current COVID-19 pandemic., said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. “As with all unknown or unexpected robocalls, it’s buyer beware and we recommend consumers ignore them.”

The Robocall Scams In Detail

One scam robocall involves an offer for services to sanitize “ducts and air filters to protect your loved ones from the coronavirus.”  This offer comes despite the fact that the virus is transmitted by droplets from an infected person, not by bacteria in air filters, and that many of these calls are made without consent. Here is the transcription and audio file of this robocall content:

“We recommend sanitizing your ducts and air filters to protect your loved ones from the coronavirus. For only $159 our highly trained technicians will do a full air duct cleaning and sanitation to make sure the air you breathe is free of bacteria. So, don’t hesitate. Press 0 and have your duct system cleaned and sanitized now. Press 9 to be removed from this list.”

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