Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have seized the opportunity to target unsuspecting consumers — and they're showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out and Congress discusses another round of stimulus relief, criminals are continuing to follow the headlines and come up with new ways to steal their victims' personal and financial information.
It's important to stay informed and alert to protect yourself from fraud. Here are some of the latest COVID-19 scams you should know about:
COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available, scammers are taking advantage of confusion surrounding the vaccine's availability and distribution. Offers related to the vaccine that sound “too good to be true" could be a scammer trying to collect your personal or financial information. Instead, rely on trusted sources for vaccine information, such as your doctor or local health department.
Signs of the scam:
Economic Impact Payment Scams
A third round of Economic Impact Payments may be coming soon, and scammers are getting ready with new tricks and cons to steal your payment or personal and financial information. Knowing what to watch for will help you protect your payment.
Signs of the scam:
Phony Contact Tracers
If you've been exposed to COVID-19, you might get a call from a contact tracer. Contact tracers work with state health departments to limit the spread of the virus. However, scammers are also posing as contact tracers to steal unsuspecting victims' personal and financial information. There are several ways to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and an imposter.
Remain vigilant against COVID-19 fraud
Throughout the pandemic, scammers will continue to come up with new ways to target unsuspecting victims. Keep your guard up and never share your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited call, text message or email. Scammers can easily pose as government agencies, companies and even people you know and trust. If you're ever unsure, don't respond or click — contact the source directly.
If you think you've been a victim of a coronavirus scam, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/coronavirus.
Wright-Patt Credit Union is here to help you protect yourself against fraud. Be sure to check out our COVID-19 Fraud page for the latest updates and information on avoiding coronavirus-related fraud. For more everyday fraud prevention tips, tools and resources, visit WPCU.coop/StopFraud.