The overwhelming amount of news coverage surrounding the novel coronavirus has scammers taking advantage of the public’s concerns and fears. During this critical time, it is important to be proactive and safeguard yourself against coronavirus-related fraud.
The overwhelming amount of news coverage surrounding the novel coronavirus has scammers taking advantage of the public’s concerns and fears. That means that scammers are capitalizing on the fear surrounding the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
— from health and safety concerns to apprehension around financial market impacts. During this critical time, it is important to be proactive and safeguard yourself against coronavirus-related fraud.
Beware of Bogus Products and Investments
As scammers prey on coronavirus fears, there is an uptick in the sale of bogus products like masks, immune system boosters, and sanitizers. If you aren’t able to find a hand sanitizer at your local store, it doesn’t make sense that a suspicious
source on the internet would have an unlimited supply for sale. When an offer sounds “too good to be true,” verifying product credibility through research is key.
Also, be wary of “investment opportunities” related to the coronavirus. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including through social media, claiming that the products or services of
publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus. Don’t get caught in a stock scam; always seek professional advice.
Know Your Charities
Another path that scammers are taking is soliciting for bogus charities. We all want to help; the scammers know that if they tug on our heartstrings, our wallets will usually open. The scams often look like they are helping locally or for specific groups
you support. Before you contribute, be sure to research new charities thoroughly. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints, or one of the online sites that track charities such as GuideStar, CharityNavigator, or CharityWatch.
Watch Out for Phishing
The third scam to be aware of is the use of phishing emails to take your money and get your personal information. As always, never click on an embedded link in an unsolicited email. It may download malware onto your computer. Protect yourself by making
sure anti-virus software is on your computer and up-to-date.
Be suspicious of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or “experts” saying that they have new, critical information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information, go right to the authoritative
source. Go to the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) websites for current information. If you come across any suspicious claims, report them to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Nusenda Credit Union cares about our members’ physical and financial health. If you suspect anything unusual or if you believe you are a victim of identity theft, please contact us immediately.