March 30, 2020
Scammers are adapting old tricks to take advantage of consumers’ fears during the Coronavirus crisis, using phone, text, email, and even snail mail to try to get your money and personal information. For example, the King County Sheriff’s Department is warning of a phone scam threatening to arrest anyone who breaks quarantine during the governor’s “stay at home” order. A Sheriff’s spokesman wants to remind the public they will never demand you pay fines over the phone.
No matter the form of the scam, you can protect yourself by never giving your personal or banking information over the phone to someone you don’t know and trust.
We researched some of the other ways scammers are trying to cash in so you can be prepared:
- Online ads for fake treatments, cures, and vaccines for COVID-19
- Phishing emails with fake health alerts asking for personal information
- Websites that sell in-demand household goods like toilet paper and cleaning products but never deliver
- Fraudulent interactive Coronavirus tracking maps, telling you to download software could contain a virus
- Services offering information or alerts on COVID-19 that ask for your credit card
- Text messages offering loans, grants, or “crisis funds”
If you spot a scam, send it our way – and report to the Federal Trade Commission here.