Here are the 10 worst identity scams and financial grifts happening today and every day!
- Contact tracing text scams. Your state health department may send you a text to tell you someone will be calling. However, the scammer texts will ask for money or Social Security numbers or include a link to a malicious website.
- Phishing scams calls or emails that appear to be from the CDC. Then they offer to give you information about the virus in exchange for your personal information or a donation.
- COVID-19 Test kit scams offering kits in exchange for Medicare information. There have even been a few reports of physical “testing sites” set up with hazmat suits and everything. Make sure you know who you are dealing with.
- Medical scams where you receive calls or emails from doctors or hospitals claiming to have treated a friend or relative for COVID-19 and demanding payment.
- Stimulus scammers claiming they can speed up the process or offer new stimulus payments in exchange for a fee or personal information. Or, posing as IRS agents, they may say you were overpaid and have to “refund” some of the money.
- Charity scams holding themselves out as offering services to sick people; people impacted by hurricanes or COVID, etc. Instead, they pocket your money and your identity and credit card or bank account information and then wreak havoc with your information.
- Miracle cure scams promising to cure COVID-19.
- App scams where you download an app that say they are tracking COVID but are really taking your info and tracking you.
- Investment scams offering to let you invest in some company that will supposedly make big money from our current issues with COVID-19.
- Phone number spoofing to make you believe a text requesting money, gift card, etc is coming from someone you know.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Do not give out personal information!
- Do not pay anyone for anything without researching and verifying the legitimacy of who they are, what entity they represent, and what they are claiming.
- NEVER click on suspicious links.
- NEVER open mail from someone you do not know.
- NEVER open, respond or click on anything in a text message from an unknown number.
- If you receive a strange text message from a number you do know call that person first to verify someone has not spoofed their number to trick you.
- Remember that the scammers are always looking for new ways to fool unsuspecting targets.
- So, if you think a message or offer may be a scam, check the COVID-19 sections of government sites (like the FTC, FCC, FDA, HHS, and FBI), which are updated with the latest scams.
If you suspect a scam, report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline: 1-866-720-5721 or Justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm