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Look Out for the Latest COVID-19 Scams

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:​

  • Unsolicited phone calls, emails or text messages asking you to pay out of pocket or provide personal information for “priority access" to a COVID-19 vaccine. You should not have to pay for the vaccine ahead of time. 
  • Advertisements to reserve a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through social media or online event platforms. Scammers may steal your information through the signup forms.
  • Companies offering to sell and ship the vaccine to your home. These offers are fake!
  • “Robocalls" involving COVID-19 related products, such as test kits. With the vaccine rollout, scammers are expected to pitch fraudulent products promising to prevent, treat or cure the virus. Here's a robocall scam example provided by the FCC:
    [The Coronavirus] Response Act has made coronavirus testing more accessible immediately. If you want to receive a free testing kit delivered overnight to your home, press 1. If you do not want your free testing, press 2."

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:

  • An unsolicited text, email or phone call from someone claiming to be from a government agency, like the IRS or FTC. The scammer may ask you to verify your information or pay fees before you can get your stimulus payment. They may even send you official-looking letters or certificates. Don't fall for it! Legitimate sources will not contact you to discuss your stimulus payment, and no one ever has to pay to receive a stimulus payment. If you're unsure, call the agency directly to check if they were really trying to contact you. 
  •  Suspicious checks sent by mail. Scammers will mail fake checks for an odd amount and ask you to call a number or verify information online to cash it. Or, the letter may ask you to send the “overpayment" back via cash, gift cards or money transfer. If you get a check that seems suspicious or the amount is much more than what you were expecting, contact the IRS directly.
  • Any claim offering to send your stimulus payment faster. All stimulus checks will come from the IRS, not a third-party service. To check the status of your payment, you can use the “Get My Payment" feature at

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.

Signs of the scam:

  • The caller asks for your personally identifiable information, such as your Social Security number. Real contact tracers need health information, not your personal or financial details.
  • The caller asks you to pay to schedule a COVID-19 test or have one shipped to you. An actual contact tracer will never request or demand payment.
  • You receive an unexpected text or email with a link related to contact tracing. Clicking the link could download malware onto your device.
    Here's an example of what a text scam may look like, according to the FTC:
    “Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested. More at (link)."

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

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