Cases are being reported of scammers taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We want to help protect our clients, their families and their businesses from hucksters trying to profit off a national crisis.
SCAMS TARGETING SENIORS
The FCC has received reports of scams and hoaxes targeting seniors in particular. Examples include calls promising virus cures or tests as long as the senior gives over personal identifying information or payments.
Now that the stimulus bill has been approved, scammers are starting to call seniors asking for banking information to process the deposit. The government will NEVER ask for social security numbers, banking information or any personal information.
COVID RELATED SCAMS WARNINGS FOR ALL
Watch for emails or texts claiming to be from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming to have inside information. These are bogus and you should never click on the email. Some of them might be scams for money or personal information or could be phishing attempts to get into your computer.
The FCC has received reports of robocalls purporting to offer free virus test kits, in an effort to collect consumers’ personal and health insurance information. One version of this scam is targeting higher-risk individuals with diabetes, offering a free COVID-19 testing kit along with a free diabetic monitor. Other robocalls are marketing fake cures and asking for payment over the phone.
Many charitable organizations are sending out requests for donations, via email, text or on social media. Rather than clicking on the link, go directly to the charity’s website to donate. A tip to know if a site is safe: In the address bar where you type the website, look for the lock symbol and check if the website address starts with ‘https://.’ ..it’s the ‘s’ that assures you that it is a legitimate site. And please do not give your credit card or back number over the phone; if you want to donate (and please do), hang up and call the charity directly.
NEVER click on links or open attachments from sources you do not know, whether at work or at home.
The government is preparing to send Americans checks to assist with the financial stress of many families and businesses. The government will not request payment, will not call, email or text requesting ‘confirmation’ of your social security number or other personal information and will never ask for your banking information.
Text message hoaxes may claim that the government will order a mandatory national two-week quarantine, or instruct you to go out and stock up on supplies. The messages can appear to be from a “next-door neighbor.” The National Security Council tweeted that these are fake.
Finally, there have been news reports about possible government-issued checks being sent to consumers. If that happens, no one will call or text you to verify your personal information or bank account details in order to “release” the funds.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately. You can report scammers to the Florida General’s Fraud Hotline (1-866-966-7226) or send an email to fcc.gov/complaints.
As always, please call us if you have any questions or concerns.