How to Avoid COVID-19 Scams
With the current pandemic, fraudsters are hard at work, taking advantage of the fear and hardship many Americans are experiencing. Here are some current financial and personal data scams to be on the lookout for:
• STIMULUS CHECK SCAMS. Many Americans are still awaiting their COVID-19 stimulus payment and Congress is considering a second stimulus. You don’t have to pay a fee to get your stimulus check. Most people who are eligible don’t need to do anything. The IRS won’t contact you about your check by phone, email, text or social media or to ask for sensitive personal or financial information.
• TESTING AND TREATMENT SCAMS. There’s currently no cure or vaccine for COVID-19, and all testing should take place at a healthcare facility or testing site established by your local or state government. If you receive an offer for a test kit or treatment, it’s likely a scam.
• CHARITY SCAMS. Scammers are calling people and pretending to represent a legitimate charity. Be wary of anyone who requests a donation by phone. If you want to help, consider donating through the website of an organization you trust.
• ROBOCALL SCAMS. With many Americans out of work, fraudsters are using this “opportunity” to get people to sign up for health insurance, work-at-home jobs and other products and services designed to “help” them during the crisis. Don’t rely on your caller ID to tell you who’s calling and hang up if it’s someone you don’t know.