Tips for avoiding coronavirus scams

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

In this week’s Show Me the Money, those who’d like to take advantage of you haven’t taken a break during the coronavirus pandemic.

Scammers continue to capitalize on fears and concerns over COVID-19, but there are things you can do to avoid becoming a victim.

The Federal Trade Commission says don’t respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government. If you click on the link your electronic device will get plagued with malware and your information could be stolen.

Next, ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 and most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA therefore aren’t necessarily accurate.

Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using them to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work at home schemes. They’re also pretending to be the IRS claiming to need your personal information to deposit your stimulus check into your account.

Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or World Health Organization.
Also, go only to sites run by the governmental agencies to get the latest coronavirus information and don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.

Scammers have also created copies of the official IRS “Get my payment” site, so make sure you’re looking at an official site with the web address ending in “.Gov”.

When it comes to donating money, do your homework. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money. The federal trade commission says it has received more than 18,000 reports of fraud related to the pandemic costing victims more than $13 million.

If you see a scam you can report it to the FTC. The agency posts information and sends out alerts on the latest scams.

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