The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has been the top of people’s minds across America and the world. There is no doubt that the virus has impacted the lives of millions and new information pops up daily, if not hourly. Many are already feeling the impact of the virus on their personal pocketbooks and are concerned about the overall economic impact of this pandemic.
As we think and worry about the impact that COVID-19 might have on our wallets, scammers seek to prey upon fears and anxieties surrounding the virus and are gearing up to take advantage. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already seen an uptick in these scams which include things like websites selling fake products that claim to cure or treat the virus, fake emails, text messages, and social media posts promoting awareness or offering advice on unproven treatments, and even fake charities asking you to donate to victims.
Additionally, as our country works to fight this virus, there have been reports that our government will soon be sending money by check or deposit to each of us. The exact details of what amount may be sent and when are still being worked out. While the details are still being worked out, there are a few important things to know, no matter what:
- The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
- The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- These reports of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
The FTC expects even more scams to pop as the situation with COVID-19 develops. It is recommended to stay extra vigilant about scams and fraud at this time to avoid falling prey to scams and fraud. Click for more information about COVID-19 related scams and fraud.