The Most Common COVID-Related Scams
Unfortunately, since COVID-19 is still around, that means COVID-related scams are still around too. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over 200,000 Americans have been affected by these scams and forced to pay a certain amount of money.
If you are aware of these COVID-related scams that are circling around, then you may be able to spot and avoid them. Here are the most common ones to look out for:
- Fake contact tracers: If you have been exposed to COVID-19, there is a chance you will be contacted by a contact tracer. A legitimate contact tracer will ask for your name and address, date of birth, whereabouts on certain dates, and if you are experiencing any symptoms. They will never ask you for financial information, your social security number, insurance policy number, or text or email you weblinks.
- Robocalls: Scam calls of prerecorded messages are making their way around, with people claiming to be contact tracers or agents from government agencies. These messages will ask you for personal information, or direct you to press “1,” which will transfer you to a live scammer who will try to get confidential information.
- Embedded links in texts (smishing): A warning has been issued for a form of phishing, called “smishing,” where a text will include a malicious link. These scammers will send texts claiming to be government workers, tech support, financial institutions or contact tracers. These smishing links attempt to gain your personal information, or spread malware to your devices.
Now that the common COVID-related scams are out there and more people are aware of them, hopefully people will be able to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. A good rule to follow is: If you aren’t sure who is contacting you, do not click on any links or attachments.
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