With the terrible situation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, fraudsters are beginning to take advantage to take their game to another level. While many countries are experiencing financial insecurity as a result of the emergence of COVID-19, the financial carnivores are improvising on their tactics. Either through texts, calls or emails, the sophistication of money scams is becoming harder to distinguish from legitimate arrangements.
With stimulus packages becoming ubiquitous, there have been reports from the internal revenue Service of a rise in fraudulent schemes promising to speed up the payment of stimulus welfare to individuals. Individual suddenly get texts or calls purportedly emanating from government agencies, telling them to provide personal information such as social security numbers. You must double-check and cross-check the authenticity of such calls before providing such information.
Fraudsters have taken advantage of the pandemic period to promote phishing scams purportedly coming from organizations such as the World health organization. People have reported being mailed and told to click links so as to get information on safety measures that are imperative to protect individuals against the global pandemic. Clicking on the link from such emails automatically installs malware that retrieves private information from the recipient’s device. There is also the possibility of such links granting the sender remote access to the device, which grants the sender access to more emails from the recipient’s address book. This has led to organizations like WHO posting cautionary information on its website regarding how to recognize fake return emails.
Social media Scams
This fraud tactic is expertly designed to make a social media post seemed to come from a legitimate and major retailer doing give away sprees. By making use of the COVID-19 situation to validate the seeming generosity, the fraudsters involved in this scheme prey on the emotions and ignorance of the receiver to click links or provide personal information that would make them vulnerable to device hacks.
Spoof phone calls
This period, there is an increase in the number of spoof calls that looks like it is originating from the Federal Reserve Board about signing up for 0% interest mortgage loans. Don’t be tricked into refinancing a non-existent magical mortgage that is aimed at making you lose your savings. You should know when something is too good to be true; the probability of it being a scam is very high.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has advised potential investors to be wary of COVID-19 related investment scams that position certain companies as falsely claiming to develop products that can prevent or cure or detect coronavirus. It is important during this time to be cautious of any investment opportunity that is tied to COVID-19. If you decide to invest, do thorough research of such claims through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.
Scammers are making use of illegal robocalls to advertise various shady arrangements such as coronavirus treatment or work-at-home schemes. You may be prompted to press a button to be removed from the mailing list. Do not attempt that. The best thing is to hang up when such calls are put through your line. And ensure such numbers are blocked so that you do not have to answer the call another time.