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Avoid COVID 19 Scams

Look I can get a COVID-19 test kit that I can do right at home. I’ll just type in my stuff here. Here’s my credit card information, and then just click on this button to order.

Did it not register? Why isn’t it working?

Oh no, my whole computer is locked up!

Unfortunately whenever there is a public event that gets people's emotions up, whether it be a pandemic, widespread job loss, a hurricane, or new federal programs, there will be other people there to use it as an opportunity to steal from you. So here are a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission on how you can prevent getting scammed because of COVID-19.

If you see anything about treatments, cures, or tests for the virus, check with the US Food and Drug Administration first. If a test or treatment is effective it will be posted on their site. You can find it by following this link. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

If you get a Robo call, hang up immediately. Don’t say your name. Don’t say yes. Scammers can record your voice and attach it to questions you were never asked to use it as evidence that you authorized whatever money they want to draw from your phone bill or accounts.

If you get emails or texts from the government about unemployment benefits or stimulus checks, ignore them. The US government does not send notices about personal matters by email or by text. They send letters.

If you get an email asking for a response from an organization you recognize that you think is legitimate, before you click on any links in the email hover your mouse over them and see what website it will actually open up. Phishing scams send emails that look legitimate but are elaborate hoaxes to fool you into connecting to a site to get personal information they can use to steal from you or to download malware or ran somewhere and compromise your computer.

If you believe an offer or communication from an organization you deal with is legitimate, consider going to that organization’s website rather than responding to the email. Look for the notice on the site or log into your account to see if you have communication from them there. Going that route rather than responding to the email helps protect against the possibility that that email was, in fact, a scam.

The Federal Trade Commission has lots of other tips on how to avoid getting scammed. Follow this link and take a look at the whole list.