March 19, 2020
Verify COVID-19 Information Sources
“Much of the world is grappling with the coronavirus, or COVID-19 outbreak, but that won’t stop scammers from preying upon the minds and emotions of our residents,” stated Police Chief Will Balling. “There has already been reports of fake news and scams circulating in other countries dealing with COVID-19 and I thought it important to address the subject before it comes an issue locally.”
Balling provided the following as quick test to determine the validity and accuracy of the information:
1. Does the source have authority in public health, employment law, occupational safety, epidemiology, or other pertinent disciplines?
2. Does the source have access to up-to-date, accurate data?
3. Does the source share information and recommendations in a neutral manner?
4. Take time to verify the information and confirm what they are telling you.
5. Do not give out your personnel information or financial information to someone you do not know.
Balling urged local residents to seek credible sources of information. Sources he cited for local information include:
• City of Sidney: https://www.sidneyoh.com/465/COVID-19-Update
• Sidney-Shelby County Health Department: http://www.shelbycountyhealthdept.org
For state-wide information he suggested:
• Ohio Department of Health : www.coronavirus.ohio.gov
If you feel that you have been a victim of a scam please contact the Sidney Police Department at 937-498-2351 and they will have an officer call you back.