Scammers often surface at times like these, seeing ready-made opportunities in the coronavirus pandemic and also in the 2020 U.S. Census count. Here are some tips to keep them at bay:
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits.
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes even well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified.
- Don't give away your own information. If someone is asking for your Social Security number or bank account information over the phone or online, don't provide it.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies, when they don’t.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card or by wiring money, don’t do it.