Beware of COVID-19 Scams!

With everybody’s minds preoccupied with the Coronavirus, fraudsters are taking advantage. So much so, in fact, that the FBI recently released information on the uptick in COVID-19 scams they’ve been seeing lately.

Here are some things you need to know to keep yourself safe:

Fake CDC Emails
Attackers are preying on people by sending emails that claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Be sure to verify information, such as the from email address, spelling and other things, to verify the legitimacy of any email, especially those claiming to have information on COVID-19. Don’t click on links if anything appears suspicious, as they could contain malware or even ransomware.

Stimulus Check Emails
Another type of phishing email being reported is one that asks for verification of personal information in order to receive stimulus checks. Please be aware that the government will not send emails to confirm your personal information. Also, be on the lookout for emails claiming to offer charitable contributions, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines and fake testing kits in response to the pandemic.

False Treatments/Equipment
Fraudsters are capitalizing on people’s desires to stay healthy during this time. In turn, they’ve started scams claiming to sell Coronavirus treatment and prevention products, as well as protective equipment such as masks, face shields, gloves, sanitizing solutions, etc.

What You Can Do
To protect yourself from these scams, the best thing you can do is share this information. Make yourself aware of the potential schemes that are going around in the wake of COVID-19. Be weary of solicitous emails and go into each situation with an air of caution. These tips will help as well:

•If you don’t recognize a sender, don’t open any attachments or click on any links.
•Personal information (including usernames, social security numbers, addresses, etc.) should never be disclosed in response to an email or phone call.
•Confirm that a website is legitimate by typing the URL directly into your browser (rather than clicking a link. Go straight to the source about COVID-19 (cdc.gov, coronavirus.gov).
•Check for misspellings, questionable email addresses and bad grammar, as these often signify fraud.

We know these are difficult times. Our minds are elsewhere, trying to deal with the complications of just our everyday tasks. But being vigilant and practicing a little extra caution could mean all the difference for you. Stay safe and secure!

For additional information from the FBI, click here.