Your CARES Act payments are finally on their way! Maybe you’re part of the group lucky enough to have gotten their first payment already. With a large sum of money unfortunately comes a group of people trying to scam you out of it. We want to help you protect your money and use it to support you! Below are ways for you to be cautious and ensure that you keep yourself safe from any scams related to the CARES Act stimulus or COVID-19 fraud.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) or experts saying that have information about the virus. If the email is purportedly from an official organization, do your due diligence and check it by going to their official website or contact them through their official channels to verify the veracity of the email.
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. There are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device and make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
- Be alert to “investment opportunities” that claim prevention, detection, or cure Coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
Take caution and keep yourself safe from fraud! Watch www.ecu.com for the latest of ways to protect yourself, your money and your identity.