Look out for These 3 Scams During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Scammers are taking advantage of the uncertainty during the pandemic and finding ways to take advantage of innocent victims by stealing their money and personal information. Protect yourself and your loved ones by learning about these scams.

1. Work-At-Home Scam

This scam promises victims the opportunity to work from home and make a substantial amount of additional income. Bad actors may try to contact you through job listing websites, robocalls and ads online. Remember that actual employers will never request that you:

  • Provide any of your online banking credentials for deposit
  • Ask you to utilize your bank account for items
  • Ask you to purchase items up front including gift cards or money orders
  • Send funds via electronic money transfer services

2. Economic Impact Payment Scam

As people continue to receive economic impact payments from the government, scammers are trying to take their money in several ways. Remember that the IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message or social media with information about your payment. The IRS will not ask for your banking credentials, Social Security number or credit card number. Scammers contacting you might also refer to this money as a “stimulus” payment. This is a red flag as the official term is “economic impact payment.”

Remember:

  • Only use irs.gov/coronavirus to submit information to the IRS
  • You don’t have to pay anything to get your economic impact payment — no fees or charges are applied
  • The IRS will not ask you to deposit your economic impact payment check and then send them money back because they paid you too much

If you spot one of these scams, please contact the Federal Trade Commission*.

3. Cures, Supplies and Cheap Insurance

Scammers are pitching consumers with remedies and cures, while others claim to be selling in-demand supplies like personal protection equipment (PPE), test kits, cheap insurance and household cleaners. These scammers will try to reach you by email, robocalls, texts, social media or ads. 

What you should do:

  • Do not click on ads online offering vaccinations
  • Hang up on robocalls without responding to them
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO, and don’t click on links from sources you don’t know
  • Research any nonprofit or ad group asking for donations, and never donate in cash, by gift card or by wiring money

Safety Precautions for Elevations Members

Protect yourself from these scams by understanding what you can expect if you receive an email, call or text from Elevations Credit Union.

Elevations will never:

  • Ask for your PIN number
  • Ask for your online banking username or password
  • Ask for your full debit or credit card number
  • Call you and offer to send a text verification code to prove it’s Elevations (we don’t send these types of text message codes)

Be diligent in protecting your personal information from scammers. As always, if you are unsure about whether an email, phone call or text message is actually from Elevations, or if you are concerned about potential fraud, please call us at 800.429.7626 ext. 1745.

*This is a link to a third-party website.

Author Elevations Credit Union

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