At the beginning of COVID-19, scammers took advantage of the confusion caused by the virus to scam seniors and other vulnerable citizens. However, with time, these scammers have become even smarter. There has since been a recent influx of new scams since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. With these new scams, we believe it is important to continue to educate our readers on the dangers that they may face.
What are the recent scams?
- “You’ve Been Exposed”
- “I’ll Do Your Grocery Shopping For You”
- “We Have A Cure For COVID-19”
1. “You’ve Been Exposed”
Many scammers are trying to impersonate legitimate contact tracers who notify people of their potential exposure to the coronavirus. Those who actually hold this position are hired by the state’s public health department to work with a person infected with the virus. The contact tracers ask for the names and phone numbers of everyone the infected person has been in close contact with while possibly infectious.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the fake contact tracers will ask for a person’s Social Security number, bank account number, credit card number, and other sensitive information. Scammers will also send text messages or emails with fake links. Clicking on the link will download malware onto a phone or laptop which will give them access to the person’s personal and financial information.
If you are contacted by a real contact tracer, they will not ask you for your Social Security number, banking information, or payment.
2. “I’ll Do Your Grocery Shopping For You”
Many people in the community have done their best to aid seniors during the public health crisis. However, you will want to be careful if a stranger comes up to you in a grocery store and offers to shop for you. The scammer will ask for money to pay for your groceries and your home address. If this happens to you, do not give a stranger your money or home address. The scammer will not deliver your groceries and they will take advantage of the fact that they know where you live.
3. “We Have A Cure For COVID-19”
There are many companies out there that claim they have solutions to prevent or treat COVID-19. The FTC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have sent more than 40 warning letters to companies claiming to have products that prevent or cure coronavirus.
Some of these fake products advertised on websites and social media include essential oils, colloidal silver, and intravenous therapies with high doses of Vitamin C. Marketers also promote air filtration systems that can neutralize coronavirus.
While scientists are working on a COVID-19 vaccine, there is currently no FDA-approved vaccine, medication, supplement, or product that can prevent, neutralize, or cure the coronavirus disease.
Additional Scams to Watch For: COVID-19: Scams to Watch Out For
Have you seen any other scams recently? Let us know!
Marcia L. Campbell, CPA is committed to helping each client plan for the personal and financial decisions that need to be made for the future. Marcia’s team has a genuine interest in your well-being and has a well-established list of services to help guide you through this process.
If you need help, please contact us by filling out a Contact Form or giving our office a call at +1(951)686-3608.