While the current pandemic has our attention, scammers are trying to get away with our personal information. So, you must pay close attention during this difficult time. Here are the COVID-19 scams to be aware of:
Government Check Scam
There is a rumor going around that the government will be sending a check to everyone. While the details are not finalized, keep in mind that the government will never ask you for your personal information. Anyone who requests your Social Security Number, bank account, or credit card number is a scammer. Do not share your sensitive information with anyone that you do not know and trust.
Also, the government will not charge a fee for you to receive the check. Scammers will try to lure you in with false promises to provide the check sooner than the government – for a fee.
Undelivered Goods Scam
While home supplies are in high-demand, scammers are setting up shop. Be wary of ordering supplies online from individuals and unfamiliar retailers. Anyone can create a Facebook Marketplace post or set up a website pretending to have the products you need most.
Don’t be a victim. Scammers will attempt to take your money without ever sending you the items you purchased.
Fake Charities Scam
During a pandemic, consumers are often eager to help the less fortunate. Scammers know this and will mock the names and websites of real charities to steal donations. Make your donation count by doing some research before giving, and always pay with a credit card. Money taken by scammers results in fewer donations to help those in need.
Fake Emails, Texts, and Phishing
Researchers at Kaspersky reported finding malicious files disguised as videos or documents with information about the coronavirus. These files are typically sent via email and often result in the download of a trojan virus that will corrupt your computer and steal sensitive information.
Be cautious when opening emails – do not open attachments or links unless you were expecting to receive the message from a familiar sender.
Scammers will also use texts and phishing emails to get 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. Scammers often use familiar company names or pretend to be someone you know.
Protect your computer by keeping your security software up to date, and backing up your data.