Watch Out For These COVID-19 Scams

October 30th, 2020 by
Watch Out for these COVID-19 Scams

Photo credit: Photo by Maksim Goncharenok / Pexels

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our daily lives and scammers have used this to target people to get their valuable information.

According to myFICO, here are scams to look out for:

1. Phishing

Phishing scammers will often use a legitimate-looking email from a company (like your bank), add an attachment or phone number, and create some urgency to use these. This will normally contain some form of malicious software that goes after your information.

2. Vishing & Smishing

Phishing can also be done in two other forms: vishing, where the same strategy is done over the phone; and smishing, which is carried out over text messages.

3. Fake Profiles on Social Media

Scammers will also make fake profiles on social media that will contact you asking for personal information or bank details. This can also take the form of romance scams, where the victim gets lured to give out information.

4. Quid Pro Quo

These scams will normally offer a small incentive or benefit for information. This could be in the form of asking for passwords or confirming social security number details.

Scammers will sometimes make you believe they are part of a large organization and are needing bank card information or other personally identifiable details.

What to do to protect yourself

There are various things you can do to protect yourself and your information.

  • If you have received something that has a sense of urgency or a link to a site, don’t open it and contact the relevant organization, through a different source than the one sent such as the number on your bank statement or on the back of your credit card, to check its legitimacy.
  • Everything needs a password these days and it seems easier to have one password for everything… but scammers love that! Instead, make it hard for them by using different passwords for each account, a mixture of letters, symbols, and numbers also makes it harder to log in.
  • Be cautious about the information you share online. Scammers will go through social media and find the information they need from innocuous posts or quizzes that have identifiable information.

What to do if you are a victim of a scam

If you are the victim of a scam, report it to authorities, such as the local police or the Federal Trade Commission. Have any evidence gathered and ready, including any phone numbers, emails, postal mail) to help authorities with your case.

Keep an eye on your credit report to see if any unauthorized activity appears and contact the relevant authorities if you spot anything suspicious.

The sooner reports are filed the sooner the authorities can help stop the scams happening to other people.

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