COVID-19: Important Security Tips During This Time
For the last month or so, our daily news feeds have been rightfully inundated with COVID-19 information. It should not be a surprise that most of us feel stressed during this current crisis. Unfortunately, our stress, and even panicked behavior, can make us more susceptible to scams used by the bad guys, who wish to take advantage of us during these taxing times.
To the bad guys, this situation is a dream come true.
The FTC and IC3 have issued articles and talked extensively about COVID-19 scams that the bad guys are now using to target individuals. It is critical for everyone to be aware of the scams that are being used:
- Robocalls: We are all familiar with those annoying telemarketing calls that try to get us to buy a unique product. However, robocalls are now being utilized to promote fraudulent COVID-19 treatments and work-at-home solutions.
- Online offers: There have been bogus offers to get people to buy vaccinations and at-home test kits. It is important to note that there are NO FDA-authorized vaccines or at-home test kits.
- Online sellers: Do your research and be observant when you are buying products online. Some online sellers are claiming that they have “hot-ticket” items, such as disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, masks, etc., when they do not. They are only looking to take your money.
- Also, remain attentive if you see these in-demand products on third-party sites, as they can be counterfeit, unsafe, and NOT FDA-approved.
- Texts/emails: Many people are starting to receive phony texts and emails about their pending stimulus checks. Please remember these cautions:
- The government will NOT ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. NO fees. NO charges. NO nothing.
- People who tell you they can get this check to you more quickly are scammers.
- Phishing emails from the “CDC/WHO” that purport to offer you more information about COVID-19 are also FAKE.
- Other phishing emails to look out for during this crisis?
- Charities for COVID-19 relief.
- Airline refunds.
- Financial breaks.
- It is not just texts and emails. Beware of phone calls that you may get from “government officials” who say that they need your SSN or bank information first before you can receive your check.
*This information was derived from consumer.ftc.gov and ic3.gov.*