Coronavirus Scams are on the rise and while FTC and local governments are doing all they can to stop this from becoming a "pandemic" in itself, here's what you can do to safeguard yourself.
- Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits
Many homes are receiving fake "home test kits" enclosing a bill, sometimes even an envolope asking people to put cash and mail it to a PO Box! They make it look authentic with government seals, almost making you feel if you won't do it you may get arrested! Stay away from such scams. If in doubt, inform your local authorities about it.
- Hang up on robocalls
Robocalls are at all time peak right now. You may be getting calls from sending you "relief money" to "free groceries", all they'd ask for is your bank account number and few personal details. Do not fall into such scams. Immediately disconnect. Report unwanted calls at https://www.donotcall.gov/
- Watch out for phishing emails and text messages
Phishing emails are emails that look as if they are coming from a trusted source. For example they'll have a recognizable brand's header and logo. Always check the complete "from email address". A phishing email may say it's coming from "Bank of America" but the "from email address" may say "baankofmerica.com"; notice how the spellings aren't correct. Similarly, phishing text messages are text messages claiming to come from a recognizable brand.
- Research before you donate
Many scammers are collecting donation for buying face masks and supplies for local hospitals. Only work with organizations you know and have donated to before. Ask for their entity number and check with your local city's administrative department for the legitimacy of the organization.
- Stay in the know
Stay on top of local and national news. Check for updated guidance from CDC and your local city or chamber of commerce website.
Read more here about Coronavirus Advice for Consumers by FTC.
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Stay safe; Stay informed!