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Coronavirus Scams: Ways criminals prey on your fear of the pandemic

No one is unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of everything from government-mandated isolation to rampant unemployment, our lives look a lot different today than they did even a month ago. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there ready to prey on the resulting fear and confusion.

it brings to light a concerning trend that’s sprouted from the pandemonium surrounding COVID-19. Here’s a closer look at the various coronavirus scams out there right now and red flags to watch out for.

Medicare Scams

 Hudson Wealth Management, provided of business and retirement plans says many of their clients are seniors, who tend to be targets of all types of scams. In light of the pandemic, they see a couple of new scams making the rounds.

For example, criminals are calling older citizens to offer a supposed coronavirus vaccine or preventive medicine that’s covered by Medicare.

Unfortunately, there is currently no coronavirus treatment or vaccine if there were, we wouldn’t be facing a national crisis right now.

Email Scams

The internet is a breeding ground for fraud, and email is one area where it’s easy to get duped.

One email scam to watch out for is someone impersonating a senior executive such as the CEO or CFO. They might send a message asking for personal details or financial information under the guise that your assistance is needed.

Scammers are also impersonating trusted institutions such as the World Health Organization, insurance companies, and banks.

 if you think anything is unusual about an email, don’t click any links. Instead, search for the institution online and find a support contact number to call and ask for verification that the communication is valid.

Fake Coronavirus Website Scams

As the coronavirus spreads and new information comes to light about detecting and treating it, people around the world turn to the web to keep up to date.

Allure Security, an online security agency, explained there’s been a proliferation of new web domains containing the words ‘corona’ or ‘covid,’ many of which falsely claim to be data repositories for information about the virus, or to sell face masks, vaccines and home tests that can detect COVID-19.

It’s important to be mindful of what sites you visit and share information with, Stolfo said. Stick with trusted sources of information, and be wary of buying supplies from sites you’ve never heard of that offer inventory no other legitimate sites do.

 Debt scams

Debt scams are nothing new, but with individuals struggling to pay their bills as a result of businesses shutting down, scammers have even more opportunity to prey on the most vulnerable people.

For example, scammers often use enticing language claiming that they can help you settle your debt for a certain amount or within a defined time period.

Keep an eye out for debt relief companies that use a P.O. box instead of a physical address, don’t have live people answering phones or charge you up-front. Those are all signs of a scam.

TAGS: coronavirus, criminal, fear, pandemic, prey, scams, ways
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