Scammers often use times of crisis to victimize people. Below are seven popular scams that are being used during this particular time.
Scammers are creating fake shops, websites, social media accounts, and email addresses to sell medical supplies currently in high demand. When consumers attempt to purchase supplies through these channels, fraudsters pocket the money and never provide the promised supplies.
Scammers are offering to sell fake cures, vaccines, and advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19.
Pay Upfront to get Financial Relief
Several economic relief plans have been instituted by the government including waived student loan interest, stopped collection of student loan debt, and allowing borrowers to pause student loan payments for 60 days. Scammers are tricking consumers into believing they must first pay a fee to receive financial support.
Scammers are “soliciting donations” for individuals, groups and areas affected by COVID-19 that are not connected with a real charity.
Fake Stimulus Checks or Deposit Information
Scammers are sending out fake checks to individuals telling them they overpaid but to cash the check and send the “overpayment” to the “government” or they will be penalized on their taxes. In addition, scammers are calling individuals pretending to be the Treasury Department or IRS and asking for account information. The government will never contact you by phone to collect your account information.
Scammers posing as national or global health authorities (CDC or WHO) and other reputable organizations (Mayo Clinic) are sending phishing emails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware via malicious attachments or links to gain your personal information.
Scammers are offering online promotions on various platforms claiming that the products and services of companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19 and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. These promotions are often styled as “research reports” that make predictions of a specific “target price” or relate to micro-cap stock or low-priced stocks issued by the smallest of companies with limited public information.