5 Things You Can Do To Avoid Scams
Unfortunately, cyber criminals and other con artists are viewing the Coronavirus pandemic as a prime time when people and organizations might be more vulnerable to their nefarious scams.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is urging everyone to do these five things:
- Don't respond to texts, e-mails or calls about government checks.
- Ignore offfers for vaccinations. The FTC emphasizes currently "no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19" are available.
- Be wary of test kit advertisements. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one home test kit, thus far, and it can only be ordered by a doctor. Nearly all test kits being adveritsed online are not FDA-approved and are likely to be fraudulent or inaccurate.
- Hang up on all robocalls. Scammers are pitching everything from inexpensive health insurance to work-at-home software packages.
- Be leary of e-mails claming to be from the Centers For Disease Control or the World Health Organizaiton. The FTC, instead, cites coronavirus.org and usa.gov/coronavirus as sources for getting the latest information.
As always, be careful about clicking on links in e-mails from senders you don't know. These links may load ransomware and/or other malicious software onto your computer or smart phone.
Also be warned that some scammers have gone beyond setting up robocalls and sending phishing e-mails. They've developed entire websites that memic actual retail/wholesale sites, offering fast delivery for in-demand yet difficult to obtain supplies (surgical masks, test kits, household cleaners, tiolet paper, webcams, etc.). The sole purpose of these sites is to obtain credit card numbers through having "customers," anxious to get these sluppies, unknowingly place fake orders.