To most of us, its unthinkable that someone would try to take advantage of consumers during a health crisis. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the fears around the Coronavirus. Websites are being created to sell bogus "cures", using fake texts, e-mails and social media posts to try to take consumers money and to get personal information.
Some of these scams may appear like they are promoting awareness and prevention tips or spreading false information on Coronavirus cases in your neighborhood or region. These are all scare tactics to try to scam consumers out of their money. Particularly be mindful of asks to donate to those with the Coronavirus, offering unproven treatments or medical advice. These e-mails often contain malicious links and attachments.
Tips to Help You Avoid COVID-19 Scams
Don't Click on Links from Individuals or Business that You Don't Know
Clicking on links or downloading attachments can infect your computer or device with malware and other malicious software. It is important to make sure that the anti-virus and/or anti-malware on your computer is up to date.
Know Where to Get the Most Updated Information
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are providing the most up to date information about the Coronavirus. Be wary of e-mails that may appear to be coming from the CDC or WHO, these organization will not likely email you directly with information to download or offers to click on.
Research Donation Requests Thoroughly
It's inevitable that you'll get a request for a donation from a charity or crowd funding site like Go Fund Me. It's important that you fully research the charity or crowd funding request. Go to the charities website or the crowd funding site to verify there is actually a fundraiser. You can also call to verify. Never feel pressured to give a donation, especially if someone is asking you to donate by gift card or wire transfers.
Ignore Vaccination Offers Online
If you see offers on the internet for vaccinations, treatments or medications for treating or even curing Coronavirus, be wary. If there truly was a break through or a treatment, we would all likely hear it first from the White House or a major media outlet.
Where to Get Information and Report Scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers consumer alerts and a website where you can file a complaint.
Gain Financial Security with Help from First Alliance Credit Union
While we can't stop fraud and scammer from taking advantage of our members (though we wish we could), we can provide our member many options to protect themselves. At First Alliance Credit Union we provide a wide variety of services designed to protect you from being taken advantage of during the COVID-19 pandemic, and always.