Scams continue and are getting more insidious as time goes on. Be informed and protect your family by knowing what to watch for.
The government WILL NOT ask you for your bank account number, credit card number, pay pal information or social security number in order for you to get money from the government.
Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. This is a way for scammers to access your online profiles and information and your personal correspondence.
There are NO test kits for the virus except the ones provided by medical professionals. The only approved tests require a prescription from a doctor. Scammers are selling kits online and door to door, but they are fakes and will not detect the virus.
A text message scam impersonating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services informs recipients that they must take a “mandatory online COVID-19 test” using the included link. They will ask for personal information and payment. Do not fall prey. The government has not and will not require testing by using a link.
Beware of Facebook. Facebook User Rewards, offers you $20,000 in grant money you were supposed to get from the government due to the COVID bail outs and stimulus. They ask you a series of questions that are simple enough, name, birthday, mailing address. They then tell you to go get a cash card in the amount of $100 to $150 and make sure you photograph all necessary information off the card and send it to them. They say it is used to verify your funds. Sounds tempting until you check your cash card, the cash is gone and the money never shows. Unfortunately, there is no way to report them to Facebook. This is only one of the Facebook scams.
There are NO oils, pills, tinctures, vaccinations or anything else that will prevent or cure the virus. Scammers will use the faces of celebrities they claim are endorsing a product, but it is all a fraud.
Diabetics are being targeted. One scam targets higher risk individuals with diabetes, offering a free COVID-19 testing kit along with a free diabetic monitor asking for shipment payment over the phone or asking for personal information.
Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance, help with legal paperwork to qualify for government loans and cash, help with deferring student loans to work-at-home schemes.
A new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University confirmed coronavirus is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces for longer than first believed. The coronavirus was detectable in aerosols (like sneezes and coughs and air cleaners etc.) for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Soap and water, bleach, isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide and the methods recommended for cleaning and killing the virus. Do not purchase other products claiming to work.
Do not download APPs claiming to have real time information, one locks your phone and demands money to unlock it.
Do not give money to unknown charities claiming to be collecting for victims or research. Do not donate cash. Do not donate gift cards unless you are personally involved with the organization to which you are giving.
Do not give to charities that call over the phone. If you want to give to the Salvation Army for example, call their offices and always assume calls to you are scams.
Delete all emails and texts claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. They will not send you information in this way. These may infect your computer.
One telephone scam claims to be taking reservations for testing, not true. If thieves know you have an appointment time for testing they know your home will be vacant at that time.
Another phone scam claims to be a doctor treating one of your relatives needing money for treatment.
There are people wandering neighborhoods dressed in white looking as though they are in hazmat gear. They are not legitimate and while claiming to be testing for the virus are really trying to get into your home to rob you.
Do not open the door to anyone wearing a mask. If someone wearing a mask should force their way into your home you will never be able to identify them to the police.
If you own a store, restaurant or other small business, beware. Some stores have opened on an appointment basis. People call, make an appointment and are let in through a door that is kept locked. They claim they will be back later to make a purchase but in reality, they come back to rob you. They have cased your business on the first visit and know exactly what to take and where things are located making the robbery easy and fast. Of course, again, you will never be able to give a description to the police.
Do not shop online from places unfamiliar to you. It is quick and easy to set up an online store only to disappear once vast amounts of money has been collected.
Do not pay bills online from anyone claiming you are overdue on a payment. Scammers have hacked into businesses and captured their client/customer lists and send emails claiming the customer, you, are behind on a payment. If you get such a call do not respond. Call the office of the business yourself to ask about your account. Do not call the number listed in an email.
It is disgusting to think during a worldwide crisis there are people anxious to defraud and steal while you are confused and fearful. If you experience any of these, report them immediately to your local police. You can also file a complaint about scams at fcc.gov/complaints. Help protect others and report suspicious activities.
Visit Carolyn’s Facebook page and the Totally Ready website for Coronavirus updates and help with your self-quarantine and self-reliance preparations. Please share what you are doing and learning as you self- quarantine and inform Carolyn of any scams you are aware of.