This year has certainly been a strange one, to say the least.
This global pandemic has, understandably, caused widespread fear and uncertainty. Some have lost their jobs and are having difficulties paying their bills. Going to the grocery store is a hassle and when anyone comes within a few feet of you, you instinctually begin to back away.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who try to take advantage of a person’s vulnerability, which is why scams continue to be an ongoing concern.
Covid-19 scams have been occurring throughout the pandemic and affecting people predominantly online. With more people working from home or staying at home, internet usage has increased.
Protecting yourself online is always important and it’s also important to be aware of the current scams in order to recognize them before you get targeted by them. The Federal Trades Commission says Covid-19 scams have cost Americans over 13 million dollars this year alone. Here are some common Covid-19 scams happening online.
When you’re working from home and using the internet, you’re bound to run into technical difficulties sooner or later. Many people may feel hesitant to have a stranger in their home over the fear of germs, which may lead them to do a quick Google search of their provider’s tech support line. Unfortunately, scammers are hoping that you do this. To protect yourself, make sure the company’s number you dial is a legitimate number by going on their website directly and looking on their “Contact Us” page.
“Government Issued” Online Covid-19 Tests and Fake Cures
There are many people out there who want to take a test out of fear or worry. Scammers will advertise for a Covid-19 test available to be purchased online. These are fake and should not be purchased. If you have questions about the legitimacy of a product, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides updates on available tests.
Also, there are fake products available that are marketed as being the cure for the coronavirus. These are also fake and should not be taken seriously.
With so many turning to video chats and zoom calls, intimacy can be challenging if you are single or you are in a long-distance relationship. Always be mindful of any webcam you own and consider putting some black tape over it when it’s not in use.
In this scam scenario, the victim will receive an email with their password in the subject line. Upon opening the email, the scammer will claim that the victim’s webcam has been compromised and they’ve caught you in a moment of intimacy. They usually demand payment in bitcoin and will threaten to expose you publicly. If this happens to you, don’t meet their demands. Instead, delete the email and change all of your passwords.
Fake Small Business Loan Sites
So many small businesses are struggling to make ends meet right now. Scammers recognize this and understand that the payroll protection program and the economic Injury disaster loan processes can be confusing. Scammers will create fake websites and encourage the applicant to send a “down payment” in exchange for a government loan. The only site you should go to for a government loan is the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Physical Document Destruction: Additional Protection
Protecting yourself from scammers goes beyond protecting yourself online. Physical document destruction is an added means of protecting yourself against dumpster divers and fraudsters.
For more information, give us a call at 1-800-987-4733 or send us a message online.