Since the start of the pandemic, scammers have been busy coming up with ways to take advantage of the situation. A whole new variety of scams has opened up and, unfortunately, as long as the virus stays with us, so will the scammers.
To keep you safe and help you stay aware, here are some things to keep in mind:
Contact Tracers – To help contain the spread of the virus, it’s important to determine those who’ve come into contact with people who’ve tested positive. The people charged with this task are known as contact tracers and are legitimate employees. A true contact tracer might get in touch with you by phone, email, test or an in-person visit to your home. They will ask you for your name and address, health information (are you experiencing symptoms, etc.) and the names of places and people you have visited. A legitimate contact tracer will NEVER ask for payment, your Social Security number, financial information or your immigration status. Real contact tracers who contact you by text or email will simply let you know that they will be calling you. They will NOT ask you to click on or download anything. If you’re asked to do something like that, you can be sure that it’s a scam!
Vaccines and home test kits – Scammers are trying to sell these products with a promise to treat or prevent COVID-19. These do NOT work. Don’t waste your money OR take chances with your safety.
Robocalls– Scammers are using illegal robocalls to sell you on everything from the previously mentioned test kits and vaccines to low-priced health insurance and work-at-home schemes. Just hang up on these people!
Spoofing emails – Watch out for emails claiming to have the latest information from the CDC or World Health Organization. The information contained in these emails may be incorrect or downright false. For the latest information, go to legitimate sites such as www.coronavirus.gov or www.usa.gov/coronavirus.
These are just a few of the scams still making the rounds as the pandemic continues. For the latest information on scams related to coronavirus and many other topics, check the FTC website at www.ftc.gov.