Scammers are using concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) as an opportunity to conduct fraud. Below are some tips on what to look out for to protect yourself.
Read more about common scams and 10 Tips to Avoid being a Victim on American Banker's Associations website here.
Since Congress has passed the COVID-19 relief stimulus package, scammers are using it to target people for personal information or money. Be aware that the IRS will not call you about your stimulus money. Watch out for calls, texts and emails posing as the government and prompting you to enter personal information or pay charges to receive a share of the stimulus. Learn more here.
Watch out for emails or texts claiming to be from national or global health authorities and other organizations. These are made to look official and try to trick victims to provide personal information or open an attachment containing malware. Don’t click on links or attachments in messages that make you skeptical or come from an unknown sender. Learn more here.
Always be wary when someone requests personal information or payment, including charitable donations. Scammers will impersonate government agencies, healthcare organizations and other major organizations to solicit money and steal your personal information. For example, scammers impersonating a healthcare provider may claim a relative of the victim is ill and request payment for medical treatment.
Some companies are selling products making false claims they can treat or prevent COVID-19. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration are issuing warning letters to these companies, and you can learn more here. As you shop online, you should also beware of fraudulent advertisements for health supplies such as facemasks and hand sanitizer.
Scammers are using promotions on the Internet and social media to target investors. These promotions call to invest in publicly-traded companies that they falsely claim can detect, prevent or cure COVID-19. Learn more from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission here.