You cannot access a news channel or social media outlet without hearing about Coronavirus. While we are hearing about the health and safety concerns that COVID-19 poses for all of us, there is another concern to be aware of that is likely not top of mind for any of us right now. Scams.
It seems that scammers are taking advantage of the fear people are feeling in these trying times and using it to their advantage. So, here are some things that you can do to avoid being taken advantage of, as recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Do not engage with any robocalls. Do not press any numbers. Hang up immediately.
- Fact-check any information you’re given. Scammers will often give out unverified info. Make sure you double-check anything you’re being told before you pass on any messages.
- Know who you’re doing business with. Online retailers are popping up, promising access to high-demand products. Be sure the retailer you’re buying from is legit before you buy.
- Don’t click links from senders you don’t know. This is a good life rule, but especially important during these times.
- Ignore online offers for vaccines or medicines. They simply don’t exist. If you have health questions, you should contact your medical health professional, never an online source.
- Don’t respond to emails, texts, or calls about checks from the government. Details about this are still being worked out, so these communications are likely from scammers.
- Before you donate, do your research. There are certainly many in need across the country, but scammers can prey on peoples willingness to help others. Make sure you verify anyone you’re donating to is actually a person or organization in need. Don’t let anyone rush you into donating or demand cash, gift cards, or wires.
Visit the FTC’s website here for more information and to stay up-to-date. Stay safe out there, friends!