If you received an email advertising a new vaccine for the coronavirus, would you open it? If a doctor called you requesting payment to treat your family member for COVID-19, would you share your information?
While the world is focused on the coronavirus (COVID-19), criminals are taking advantage of the situation. Here are some of the top scams to look out for:
- Stimulus Scams
Be alert of scammers asking for an upfront payment, bank account or social security information in order to receive your stimulus check. The government will never request this information for stimulus checks in a phone call or email.
- CDC & WHO Scams
Watch out for phishing emails from scammer posing as national and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They hope to trick you into downloading malware or providing personal information.
- Charity Scams
Stay alert of scammers contacting you to donate fake charities. Research the organization you desire to sponsor to ensure your information is protected.
- Product or Services Scams
Items like hand Sanitizers, disinfectants and household cleaning supplies are often offered by scammers who will keep your money. Scammers also offer cures, coronavirus test kits and vaccines that do not exist. Services can range from house cleaning to doctor visits.
- Employment Scams
Scammers create jobs ads to lure unemployed consumers to fake jobs. The scammers will wire money or send fake check to you, asking to send a portion back or use the funds to purchase goods, which are directed back to the scammer.
Steps you can take to protect yourself from scams:
- Secure your accounts: use multifactor authentication everywhere, especially with banks, phone and email providers. This extra layer of security helps keep you safe.
- Stay vigilant: scammers will contact you by phone, email or text offering products, services or humanitarian opportunities. They often pose as credible companies “phishing” for login or personal information Pause to confirm it’s a credible company before proceeding.
- Monitor your accounts: stay close to your personal bank accounts, report suspicious behavior and respond to alerts.
- Use trusted Wi-Fi networks: as more people transition to work from home, ensuring your Wi-Fi network is password protected is critical to safeguard your information.
- Be informed: visit the FTC’s Consumer Information site for more information at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing
Learn more about how USAA is responding to concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19):