Coronavirus related scams are raising red flags. Scammers are going after those in need of stimulus checks and creating fake charities.
The National Consumers League (NCL) says scams about robocalls and about stimulus checks are on the rise.
“We saw this already in the last recession 2008, 2009 where the scammers came out of the woodwork to try and take consumers’ last dollars,” said John Breyault with NCL. “The coronavirus hit is going to be even bigger.”
The advice is simple:
· Don’t click on links from texts you don’t recognize.
· Don’t give personal information to people who could call over the phone.
· And don't believe anyone who says the census needs to be completed so you can get your check.
“The stimulus checks that are going out are a boom for scammers,” said Breyault. “They are contacting consumers saying, you know, ‘we're ready to send you your Trump stimulus, just send us $50 so we can process it.’”
No one will get an email, phone call or text about stimulus checks. They'll be mailed or direct deposited without you having to do anything.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put out another warning this week. Some people are offering to buy older adults supplies but never come back with the goods or money.
If you have an isolated elder in your life, be sure to video chat them. Let them know to call you before they accept any virus-related help.
AARP’s fraud watch says they've identified other scams related to testing, treatments, cures, helping people secure unemployment, even air duct replacement to protect against the virus.
The FTC said almost half of virus fraud complaints resulted in people losing $600 on average.