The time is ripe for scammers. Right now, everyone is stressed out over COVID-19, loss of work, healthcare, daycare, finances and receiving government aid. And criminals know that stressed people are more vulnerable to their tactics.
Hence, the rise in coronavirus-related scams right now. There has been a surge of emails, texts, robocalls, live calls and postal mailings where someone is trying to capitalize on coronavirus craziness. These scams include:
* “Someone you know has COVID-19. Click here to get your free test.”
* “Review the attachment for safety measures regarding coronavirus and keeping your employees safe and healthy.”
* “Before you can collect your stimulus check, you must register and sign up for a COVID-19 test, using our website below!”
* The government doesn’t want you to know about this one COVID-19 remedy, sold in Canada at this site…”
And so on. These are all LIES, even though they may appear to come from the CDC, the WHO, the White House, the IRS. Please, please, please, do not click on any attachments or links if you get something like these. And do not call any number listed in these messages, either. Hang up on any cold-callers who attempt to pressure you for any personal info or forms of payment.
And if you have doubts during one of these scam attempts, that’s OK. They can be very convincing and our judgment is not always the best when we are under pressure. So: Take notes. Write down numbers and save the email. And talk with someone else you trust. Forward the message to other people you know and ask what they think. Generally, these scams fall apart as soon as you discuss them with family members, friends, police, doctors, even yours truly.