Published on 04-29-2020
While we’re all working hard to keep ourselves safe from a virus, it’s business as usual for fraudsters. The latest round of scams is targeting our fears around the coronavirus or using legitimate relief efforts as a window of opportunity to separate people from their money.
Our friends at Credit Union National Association have shared the following advice:
Communication claiming to be from the IRS: Whether by phone, text or email, fraudsters are impersonating the IRS claiming they need you to verify your identity, requiring you to provide account information, or even claiming you owe taxes on your stimulus payment. They threaten that if you do not give them the information, you will be arrested or will not receive future payments. In another twist of this scam, people are told to go to a certain website, download an app from the site to pay taxes immediately.
Cures and home testing kits: Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. In recent cases, scammers reportedly contacted people by phone or email claiming to be from the CDC. The caller claimed to have approved products to reduce infection risks or that home testing kits were now available.
In other cases, people were told that the caller was from Medicaid and if the victim didn’t agree to pay for cures or tests that their policy would be cancelled.
The catch – you have to provide your account details or credit card number immediately as “supplies are very limited.” Each victim had their account debited as a result, and of course nothing was delivered.
Phishing: Emails or text messages aimed at getting you to 1. Divulge personal information, like your social security number, 2. Provide account or credit card information, and/or 3. Click links or download attachments that can infect your computer. Phishing runs the gambit, but there are a few indicators you’re being phished:
What you can do:
Source: Credit Union National Association. Author: Rayleen M. Pirnie, AAP, CERP of RP Payments Risk Consulting Services, LLC