Beware of COVID-19 SCAMMERS!

April 1, 2020

Beware of COVID-19 SCAMMERS! 

Scammers prey on people's fears, and there is a lot of fear and anxiety around COVID-19.  

Just a few of the current scams are: 

  • Robocallers impersonating government employees and requesting personal information. 

  • People selling fake cures for COVID-19 online. 

  • Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

  • Websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.  

  • Fake charities seeking donations. 

Stimulus Checks 

The stimulus checks many of us will receive in the coming weeks will be a welcome relief. Be careful! Scammers are working hard to try to get your money. 

If you get a call, email, text or social media message saying the Internal Revenue Service needs money or some personal information before sending your income-tax refund or stimulus payment, don't respond. It's a scam. Don't open emails or click on attachments or links. 

Here are clues that you're being swindled: 

  • The caller or emailer uses the words “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.” The term that government officials are using is “economic-impact payment." 

  • You're asked to sign your check over to the caller. 

  • You receive an email, text or social media message saying that you need to verify your personal and/or banking information to speed up your stimulus payment. 

  • The individual offers to get you your payment faster. 

  • You receive a fake check (that looks real), and the sender tells you to call a number to verify your personal information in order to cash it. 

Tell Someone 

Telling others (family, friends and neighbors) about scam emails, calls and texts is critical to keeping others from being taken advantage of.If you have already been the victim of a scam, don’t be ashamed. Tell someone. In addition to reaching out to those you are close to, please report fraud online at ftc.gov/complaint or contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.