Here’s everything you really need to know about covid19 scams, the best outcome of people in the world has been brought out by the covid-19 pandemic; Checking on an elderly family member, making donations, knowing the importance of health workers and many more.
However, just as we can see the good of others, there are some who would take advantage of this pandemic for their own gain. Online criminals knows that the coronavirus pandemic has created fear in the hearts of many.
likewise the eagerness of finally making use online platforms in getting information as soon as possible.
Scammers are now utilizing the pandemic to execute fraudulent activities and spread malware with emails, direct contact and social media.
According to reports by a scam reporting website Scam watch, over 6,415 reports were received and they are all about covid-19 scam with about $9,800,000 lost since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected a lot of things and has made a big impact to the global economy negatively. Measures that involve restriction have cajoled many companies to suspend operations and allowed workers to takes some time off while some are been laid off.
In an attempt to curb the effect of the pandemic, governments all over the world have been taking steps to help support business and also establish compensation schemes, stimulus checks, and also help relief citizens of their tax.
If you receive a mail or call informing you about claiming a sum of money as a part of pandemic related relief, rush not to celebrate. The government is not the only organization making promises of financial aid, there are fraudsters who promise such as well but the opposite is what it leads to.
Scammers are making use of this pandemic to con people into giving up their money. The general reason behind this is fraud and they always make use of a familiar tactic. It would be hard to prevent covid-19 scam these days because older people are not having interactions with their friends, neighbors, senior service providers just because they want to curb the spread of the disease.
They don’t feel comfortable exposing themselves and may need someone to help them with errands. Always be careful when you are been offered help and make use of a delivery service that can be trusted for food and supplies.
During this pandemic, it is better to know about scams that can be used by pandemic scammers to get your money and also your information.
The FTC has specifically given warnings with regards to the increase in the number of scams relating to vaccines, cures or treatments, test kits, and air filter systems produced to eradicate COVID-19 from the air at home.
The scammers can pose in various ways like a charitable organization delivering aids and medical kits for those affected by covid-19. They create a charity name and then ask you for donation so as to help provide for those affected by the pandemic.
Another way is for them to act as a relative or friend and then claim to be ill or probably stranded in a foreign country or another state and then ask you to send money. They might ask you to send in cash or through gift cards.
They tend to ask you to keep it a secret and be very fast about it.
The social security administration offices aren’t available to assist the public physically due to the virus and their offices are closed but the SSA would not decrease or suspend social security payments or supplemental security income payments due to the pandemic.
Scammers will try and use this opportunity to mislead people into giving out their personal information, pay via wire transfer, internet currency or by mailing cash to have access to regular benefit payments during this time.
Any information or communication that says SSA will decrease or probably suspend your benefits due to COVID-19 is a scam regardless of how the information is been received.
Examples of COVID-19 Scams
Explained below are some covid-19 scam examples to watch out for;
Government Impersonation Scam
Scammer pretends to be government agencies that provide COVID-19 information through text messages and emails for your information. The mails or messages contain links and attachment that are malicious and designed to steal financial and personal information. Scammers also act as government agencies and other bodies offering to help you with your applications for financial assistance for staying at home.
Scammers sees opportunity in peoples financial hardship due to the covid-19 by trying to steal their superannuation or try offering services or charging fees that are not necessary.
Most of these scams often starts with a call that is not expected claiming to be from a superannuation or financial service. Variety of excuses are been used to request for information concerning your superannuation accounts like: assisting you to access the money in your superannuation account, checking if your superannuation account is worthy of various benefits or deals, and trying to ensure that you are not locked out of your account under the latest rules.
Online Store Scam
Fake online stores have been created by scammers claiming to sell goods or products that doesn’t exist such as cures for covid-19, and face masks.
There have been scams relating to covid-19 vaccines both in Australia and overseas. These scams include: establishing fake surveys in relation to vaccines that gives prizes or early access, request of payment for vaccines, offering to mail vaccines, and offering to pay money as an opportunity for investment in the Pfizer vaccine.
The best way to defend against COVID-19 scam is by saying NO to any of the following:
If you are been contacted and asked for your social security number, credit card information, driver license number, and bank account number etc.
If someone you don’t know contacts you and starts requesting for money via payment app like Venmo or Zelle or maybe through pre-paid gift card. If you have been sent a check for prize-winnings or sales of goods and then asked to send a portion of the money back.
Don’t click on any link or verify your login credentials if you get a suspicious message either through text or e-mail.
Always report scams to ftc.gov/complaint.
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