Coronavirus Scammers: We're On to You
As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to grow, scammers are coming up with new ways to take advantage of the fears surrounding the virus – but we’re on to them. Here are some the scams to be on the lookout for, and how to avoid becoming a victim:
Checks from the government
There are reports that the government will soon be sending money by check or direct deposit as a stimulus plan. Although details are still in the works, here’s what you should know:
- The government will not ask you to pay anything up-front in order to receive the money. Zero. Zip. Nada.
- The government will not call you to ask for your social security number, account number, or credit card number.
- These checks are not yet a reality. If someone tells you they can get you the money now – it’s a scam.
Calls from "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”
Watch for calls claiming to be from the CDC, or other experts saying they have information regarding the virus. For the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO). What do you do should you receive one of these calls? Hang up immediately.
Ignore online offers for vaccinations
Currently, there aren’t any vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or other prescriptions or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus – online or in stores.
Fake Charities and Donations
When a major health event -such as this happens- you may be looking for ways to help. However, scammers use these same events to take advantage of your generosity. Do your homework before making a donation, as some scammers use names a lot like that of real charities.
Fake emails, texting, and phishing
Scammers use fake emails or texts in order to get you to divulge sensitive information – such as account numbers, Social Security Number, or login IDs and passwords.
They also use phishing emails in order to gain access to your computer or network. If you click on a link, they can install ransomware or other programs that can lock you out of your data. One example is an email claiming to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) shown below. What red flags do you see in this email?
Image Courtesy of the FTC.
What do you do? Protect your computer by keeping your software up to date and by using security software.
With travel restrictions in place, you may find yourself attempting to sort out refunds for previously booked trips. With flight and cruise deals popping up with extreme discounts, it may be tempting to re-book your travels now, but not all are legitimate. When a price or an offer seems too good to be true, it often is. Always book directly through the airline or hotel website to avoid being misled by fraudulent third-party websites.
Scammers don’t take a break. Stay safe, stay vigilant, stay informed, and most importantly – stay strong! And if you need a little more peace of mind, we’re here for you. Protect your financial health with Free I.D. Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring – part of U.S. Eagle PerksTM Checking. It’s just one of the ways you get more, because people mean more at U.S. Eagle.