Saturday, April 11, 2020

Beware COVID-19 scams

There are dozens of COVID-19 related scams running rampant right now. The best way to stay up-to-date on those scams is to subscribe to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) blog. To do this, navigate to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog in your browser and click the blue Get Email Updates button.

Here is a summary of how scammers are exploiting our fears surrounding Coronavirus: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing, along with these tips on avoiding scams today and well into the future:
  • Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. The details are still coming together.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time.
  • Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
Don't fall for anyone trying to sell you masks or other medical equipment. Hang up on "tech support" callers. Don't provide personal or sensitive information to callers or emailers. Avoid clicking links and opening attachments in email. Give only to charities that you are familiar with. Be smart and don't click. 

Report scams to the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.

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