It’s during such times of uncertainty that leads thousands of people on the search for relief, which simultaneously leads them to increased vulnerability of becoming victims to scams and hacks online. Scammers and hackers are using every type of communication to try and deceive people and capitalize on this pandemic.
The U.S. government recently passed the $2 trillion stimulus bill that will provide many Americans relief from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also leaves eager citizens more prone to these deceitful online scams.
The Federal Trade Commission recently released tips regarding ways to avoid being victimized by these scammers and hackers. Read tips below:
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
- Fact-check any information that is provided to you before you share any information over text, phone, email, etc. Updated information regarding the government’s response to COVID-19 can be found on the official websites of government agencies. Be aware, no government agency will ask for any personal information.
- Be informed and aware of who you are purchasing items from.
- The details about the stimulus package from the government are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. The most up-to-date information about COVID-19 can be found at the official CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
- Be aware of the numbers calling you. Neighbor spoofing is when calls are made to look local for those on the receiving end of the calls.
Additional tips and information can be found on the FTC’s official website that will protect you from hackers and scammers and provide information on what the agency is doing to thwart these digital acts of deceit and theft.
Contact us if you need more information or have questions about protecting your important information from this dangerous threat during these unprecedented times.