- Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Along with natural disasters and state of emergencies come the scammers wanting to prey on vulnerable folks in order to steal your money. This new form of carpet bagger is trying to trick you by selling snake oil disguised as coronavirus test kits and vaccines. Scammers want to lure you in with empty promises. They will take advantage upon those willing to help others during this crisis. There are also victims of undelivered goods. And now they are after your stimulus checks too.
There are no products that are proven to treat or prevent COVID-19. There are no home test kits. There is no vaccine for COVID-19.
There are no shortcuts to receiving your stimulus checks quicker. Your stimulus check will be sent by the IRS either electronically or mail.
When purchasing goods and services online be sure to check out the seller by searching for reviews. Use websites that you are familiar with and avoid the ‘too good to be true’ pitch, especially for hard to find products. Always pay with a credit card for added protection and never with wire transfers or gift cards. There have been incidents reported of victims who have paid for products but they never received the items.
Crooks like to use events such as this to take advantage of your generosity. If you are wanting to donate to a charity in order to assist with the crisis make sure that you use a known, reputable charity or search for reports and ratings about a charity.
Protect yourself by following these best practices.
- Beware of phishing emails and robocalls. Don’t respond by giving personal information or requests for money. A good practice is that if you did not initiate the contact with them then it is best to ignore.
- Don’t click on links or attachments in unexpected emails.
- Report price gouging to your state consumer protection official. naag.org can give you more information.
- Report scams or other suspicious claims to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint
- Investigate any charity, online store or other organization before spending your hard earned money.
- Be wary of social media sharing remedies or reporting impending military or government action. Gossip and false information should not automatically be accepted as fact.
For information regarding Coronavirus be sure to use these government websites for accurate information.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission for more information on these and other scams.