Please keep your identity and wallets safe during these uncertain times. Unfortunately, fraudsters are out there trying to take advantage of a crisis, and unfortunately, COVID-19 is no exception.
Beware of these common COVID-19 scams:
Phony CDC Emails
These may claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Before opening any suspicious emails, verify the sender’s email address and spelling. Especially be wary of those emails claiming to have information on COVID-19.
Steer clear of bogus sites like cdc.gov.int, cdc-gov.org, who.gov, or who.edu. The accurate web address the WHO is https://www.who.int/ and the CDC is https://www.cdc.gov.
Phishing Attempts Are On The Rise
Never share personal information (usernames, social security numbers, addresses, etc.) in response to an email or phone call regarding COVID-19. Legitimate businesses will not need to ask for this information.
Legitimate COVID-19 sites include www.cdc.gov and www.coronavirus.gov.
Fake Stimulus Check Emails or Mailings
By email, crooks may ask for verification of personal information to receive stimulus payments. IMPORTANT: the government will not send emails to confirm your personal information. Also be on the lookout for phony mailers.
Bogus Investment Opportunities
There are phony companies soliciting victims for investments based on the fact “they are working to find a virus cure and are just waiting on FDA approval.” These companies may call, using an official-sounding script that can be extremely persuasive. The pitch offers an individual the chance to get in early and invest with these companies. What really happens is that the “investor” loses their money.
Read more about these Coronavirus-related concerns on the SEC website.
There is No Cure for COVID-19.
Fraudsters are capitalizing on people’s fears and the wish to stay healthy. Watch for scams claiming to sell Coronavirus treatments or COVID-19 prevention products. Also, be on the lookout for emails soliciting for charitable contributions, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, and fake testing kits.
Bottom line? Be wary of any offer or request for information.
COVID-19: Important Resources & Links
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
- FTC – Avoid Coronavirus Scams
- US Securities & Exchange Commission – Coronavirus-Related Scams
- gov – Government Response to Coronavirus
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Protect Yourself Financially