CDC Scam Warnings Amid Covid 19 Crisis
Scammers come out in times of crisis, especially when money is about to be distributed in record amounts from our federal and local governments. The CDC recognizes this and has put together a helpful web page that talks about what to look out for, what to avoid and lists valuable sites/resources where one can learn about what kinds of scams are out there.
Take some time to review this page, PLEASE. I have received calls recently for Medicare insurance, and more which definitely appear to be likely scams. Bad people prey on fear and emotions; learn how to inform yourself in order to prevent falling victim to a malicious scammer or “group” of scammers looking to defraud you in a time when you or a loved one may be most vulnerable.
How to Report Scams and Stop Scams
The responsibility is on all of us to report scams when we find out about them. 1) telling others allows others to be ready for it / react to it appropriately if it happens to them and 2) reporting it to authorities can help to bring it to authorities’ attentions in order to get them to escalate a response or look into it more thoroughly if they are going after enough people.
This page on USA.gov gives some valuable links about how to report and catalog scams you are subjected to. Remember, it’s always ok to take a step back, wait, and then reach out to your local government officials before believing something that comes your way.
Ways to Avoid Fraud
Here’s a good list of best practices to avoid falling victim to fraud and/or limit the amount of loss you expose yourself too. Remember, there will be people coming out of the woodwork in this time of crisis asking for donations, selling cures and/or sounding like real providers of valuable services like additional health insurance, testing scams, etc. This post on fraud.org is a very good practical list of things to think about when receiving unsolicited requests for funds, etc.
The FBI Warnings on COVID 19 Frauds
The FBI is updating their site frequently with information about scams related to COVID 19 - scams that range from unapproved treatments to ways to capture sensitive information like social security numbers and financial data. Here is a link to their recent release concerning COVID scams.
Note that malicious people think differently than normal people - with kids being online more now, there are additional risks to them being exposed to predators, etc. Be vigilant.
FBI Coronavirus Page: https://www.fbi.gov/coronavirus