In times of crisis, the helpers always show up. People who risk their lives to help others in any way they can. We are so thankful for all the essential workers who are currently doing just that as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop.
Unfortunately, we also must watch out for scammers, the ones who are looking to make a quick buck off of someone else’s misfortune. So in this post, we wanted to give you some reminders on how to avoid becoming a victim of the numerous coronavirus scams that are currently circulating.
The first tip is one we’ve given you before, but it’s worth repeating.
Scammers are using these stimulus payments to try to rip people off. They might try to get you to pay a fee to get your stimulus payment, or they might ask for personal information, like your Social Security number, bank account, or Medicare information.
Don’t be surprised if the communication looks or sounds official; scammers are very good at getting things to look real. But the IRS will never call and ask you for personal information, and you do not have to pay to get your stimulus money.
At this time, there are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19, so don’t let scammers try to convince you otherwise. The FDA is working with vaccine and drug manufacturers to develop new vaccines and to find drugs that will treat COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Still, any products that claim to cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19 are fraudulent and haven’t been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. They might even be dangerous to you and your family.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-cost health insurance to work-at-home schemes. If you get a robocall, hang up. Don’t press any numbers, even if they say it will remove you from their call list. If you press any numbers, it could lead to more robocalls, which you obviously don’t want.
If you think you’ve received a fraudulent email, text, or social media message, don’t click on any of the links.
They could contain viruses meant to harm your device or steal personal information. What you should do is report the suspicious communication. The more we report frauds, the better we can help protect each other. First, contact the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General. Click here to access the complaint form. Then, contact the federal government by clicking here and filling out the appropriate form.
Identity theft protection is affordable and can save you a lot of hassle if scammers steal your identity. It’s one of those things that people say they will get around to and don’t. If that’s you, then consider this the sign you’ve been waiting for.
Hopefully, you’re updating all your online passwords regularly. If not, now is a great time to tackle that pesky issue.
Here are a few tips as a refresher on creating a secure password: