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COVID-19 Scams

Scammers are targeting recipients of Covid relief funds. They will target them by means of checking their

postal mailbox and attempting to steal a check and then sign it in their name. They will also send out scam links through email or text message. The scammers might say, “Your check is ready to be deposited and we just need your bank account information. Click on this link.” Or “You are not eligible to receive your US Government Stimulus Check until you complete this or sign up for this.” Be wary of any scams that are like these and be careful on clicking on unknown links. They might give you a call saying they are from the Government or IRS and will want information.

Vaccine Scams are now on the rise. Like other phishing scams they will target people with a fake text message or email and will lead you to a fake website that will steal your personal information. If they are ever asking for money up front and say they will send a check afterwards, it should not be trusted. They can also use an attack called a watering hole attack. This is where scammers target an official website with the knowledge it will generate a large flow of traffic and try to take people’s information that way. This can be the real website or a website that is made to look just like the official website. Never trust unsolicited emails and never click on those links. It is better to type in the address for yourself and make sure it is the correct spelling.

Be careful of fake emails, texts, and phone calls from CDC and WHO that might have a link with a list of new cases around your city. They could say someone you know has been in contact with the virus click on

this link. These are like the other scams where they try to trick the person into clicking on something which could download something malicious or ask for personal information. Scammers might call you and say they have a cure, or you have been tested positive or offer a discounted testing kit. They might ask for payment or you will have to pay a fee if you do not comply. Remember they might not just need your bank account information or other personal identifiable information but could make a profile to target you in the future with that information. Be careful of unrecognized phone numbers and robocalls. If you believe the call to be suspicious do not give out any information and hang up.

Scammers are also filing unemployment claims during this pandemic by using other people’s personal information and receiving that money. Reports of fraudulent unemployment claims doubled from 2019 to 2020. These claims can be made in someone’s name who does not need it, but it is done without them knowing. Be mindful of any unemployment claims that are sent in the mail because it might mean you are a target.

Some important lessons to keep in mind during 2021, never click on links that are suspicious or from an unknown person. If you are suspicious of a link that is sent to you, ask that person if they meant to send it or go to that site by searching for it, most times something will pop up telling you the site is a scam. Never give out personal information to unknown sources and be careful of unknown calls.

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