Covid 19 Frauds and Scams

Frauds & Scams Information

While attackers are attempting to capitalize on the COVID-19 crisis by preying on fear and individuals’ willingness to help, they are using the same tactics they always do. You should be especially vigilant now to take steps to protect yourself.

  • Phishing e-mails are being used to target individuals by posing as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other legitimate organizations like Johns Hopkins University. Remain vigilant on these types of attacks.
  • The large number of employees working from home has attackers on the hunt for insecure environments such as home networks which often have less security defenses on their home networks than what exists in the office.

Tips:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites – for up-    to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your accounts where possible.
  • Do NOT click on email links if you do not know the sender
  • Verify email addresses on emails you receive to ensure they are accurate
  • Do NOT download email attachments if you were not expecting the email
  • Be careful when providing personal information or passwords
  • Watch out for spoofed domains/email addresses (google vs. go0gle)!
  • Validate any email that requires you to take a specific action (click/download)!
  • If you do want to donate to support COVID-19 relief efforts, ensure that the charity is legitimate and reputable!

Coronavirus Stimulus Scams Surface Targeting Members

Fraudsters have been quick to deploy scams involving the coronavirus stimulus package that would include direct payments to individuals and married couples filing jointly. Many variations of the scam could impact our members. Check out the PDF for more information.

March 19, 2020

Fraud Protection Tips

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. to protect yourself, please remember the following Dos and Don'ts.

Do:

  • Use trusted sources, such as your federal, state and local government websites for up-to-date information about COVID-19
  • Talk to us or a trusted adviser before sending money to someone you have never met. 
  • Verify a charity or non-profits authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission's page on Charity Scams for more information.

Don't:

  • Open email attachments from unfamiliar sources.
  • Click on links in unsolicited emails.
  • Reveal any personal financial information over emails or social media.

Other information:

  • Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
  • Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
  • Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
  • Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

For additional information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website