How To Protect Your Finances From COVID-19 Scams
There has been a substantial uptick in fraudulent scams during this pandemic, and it is important not only to protect your health, but also your finances. Unfortunately, during situations like these, there are many unscrupulous individuals who prey on peoples’ vulnerability. They are taking advantage of the fact that we are all looking for something, we want this to be over, and we are more likely to respond when we see something that appeals to that inner humanity.
Be aware of the following popular scams, and stay safe:
Fraudsters can send text messages disguising their number, pretending to be from some charitable organization or business offering a link to some free product or service linked to the pandemic. By clicking on the link, you are compromising your phone to malicious malware.
Other messages will ask you to download an attractive free app. This is could be a “trojan” that will sit on your phone and can harvest credit card information entered into other apps on your phone.
Do not click on the link or acknowledge the text. Just delete it and block the number.
Phone calls from various public health agencies stating that they have results that you or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, and that you have to pay for either a prescription or a process.
Other situations may be a twist on the traditional ‘arrest warrant’ scam. Fraudsters may inform you that you were monitored outside your quarantine zone and have to pay a fine if you do not want to be arrested.
Never give your bank or credit card information to a number you cannot recognize, unless you can validate that the caller is legitimate.
There are some individuals who are currently going door-to-door administrating home tests to detect COVID-19. This is not official, as currently all tests are being done at government sanctioned sites. These callers will be selling fake tests, or could rob you.
Do not answer the door or acknowledge these callers.
There are a number of on line fake charities and fake government programs designed to solicit money. Links to such scam websites will result in your computer being hacked and your financial information being compromised.
If you are not sure as to the legitimacy of the site, do not click on the link and respond.
Fraudsters can send COVID-19 phishing email pretending to be from a Government Department to provide an “urgent” update or financial refund. These often trick people into opening malicious attachments or ask them to confirm personal and/or financial information.
Again, do not open emails from unknown senders, and or click any suspicious links.
The pandemic has forced many people out of work forcing them to stay home. Fraudsters take advantage of people looking to work from home. The job application being advertised may require sensitive information that can be used to copy your identity. Others also ask for an administration fee to process the application.
Do not participate in these job offerings unless you have some valid proof of the validity of the company, in other words, do your research.
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