It always seems that scammers start coming out of the woodwork when people are scared. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is nothing different in that regard. People are out there simply looking to take advantage of you to get money. As we always say, the best way to protect yourself is to know what to watch out for.
Here are some red flags:
- Action needed to get money from the government. If the government does send relief out to the public, it will not ask you to put money down, give them your credit card information or share your social security number. The government wouldn’t call you to ask questions about sensitive information.
- Do your homework for charities and crowdfunding. You might be feeling generous and willing to help those who lost a job or organizations that need additional support. If you do decide to make a contribution, just investigate the cause first. Make sure you have a link to the person you’re donating to or the donation came from an official website that you know.
- Be wary of emails from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). Fraudsters will pretend to be these organizations in hopes of getting you to click on an infected link or to get personal information. It’s best to get the latest information on the coronavirus from the CDC and WHO’s official websites.
- Ignore offers for a vaccine. There is no vaccine available, yet. It’s likely that the vaccine won’t be ready for another year because it needs to go through testing1. Any offers to sell you a vaccine are scams trying to take advantage of you.
- Watch the FTC website for the latest news on scams and tips on staying safe.
Educators Credit Union wants you to be safe. In times like these, it’s best to be extra cautious when it involves your sensitive information and money.
1NY Times; “Trial of Coronavirus Vaccine Made by Moderna Begins in Seattle”