With COVID-19 present in our daily lives, being aware of possible fraud and identity theft is important. While some instances of scams and fraudulent funds may seem legitimate, there are ways to determine if they are or not. Here are some examples to keep in mind:
Coronavirus relief check
By now, or in the next few weeks you will receive your check directly from the federal government if you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019. Be aware of phone calls or emails from someone asking for your personal information, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or financial information, in order for you to receive your check. You do not need to sign up to receive it.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning about online promotions claiming coronavirus prevention, detection, or cures and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. These promotions seemingly from publicly-traded companies can be on social media and other communication mediums.
Online offers for vaccinations
If you see ads discussing prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the coronavirus, check reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and your doctor, before acting.
During this time, many charities and crowdfunding sites are requesting donations to help those affected by COVID-19. It is important to make sure donation sites are legitimate before sending cash funds or inputting your credit card information. Additionally, watch out for a sense of urgency or incentive for donating - these are often red flags for scams.
Here are some helpful reminders to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and scams.
• Only go to trusted websites for information, such as the WHO or CDC. Make sure you type in the correct URL or click the correct link for the website if you use a search engine to find it.
• Bad actors will impersonate legitimate organizations (such as the WHO or CDC) to get your information and infect your computers. Don't open attachments, or click links in emails unless they are expected.
• Don't put your credentials into third-party sites unless you're 100% sure you're on the correct site.
• Use antivirus software and make sure it's up-to-date.
• Use complex passwords and change them regularly.
Employees in the Credit Union's Loss Prevention Department can assist members if they have uncertainty a situation. Contact us here