During the Coronavirus outbreak, many people are working from home — and maybe even, for the first time in a long time, answering calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. It might be your colleague’s cell phone…or it might be a robocaller or scammer. So read on to learn about the most recent scams and how you can spot some of those scam calls you might be getting.
Scams related to the Coronavirus are growing. Some scammers are promising that you can refinance your mortgage or get student loan debt forgiveness – for a fee, of course. You might spot phishing scams, where scammers try to get your Social Security number (SSN) or financial information – maybe to guarantee you access to a COVID-19 vaccine (remember: there’s still no vaccine, so definitely no access). They might say they’re from Medicare (they’re not) with a health kit, from the CDC (again, not) with a vaccine kit, or the Social Security Administration (nope), telling you there’s a problem with your SSN (there’s not). And some scammers might even still be running some of their go-to favorites: tech support
, or lower -your-interest-rate
Unfortunately there are a lot of fraudsters who want to take advantage of this uneasy time. And while it's sometimes hard to decipher whether you're being scammed or not, the FTC has created a fun way of identifying the most commonly reported COVID-19 scams — in addition to the classic scams we've all experienced at some point. In other words, it's called "FTC Scam Bingo".
Even if you don’t play bingo, please report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint
. Learn more about Coronavirus scams at ftc.gov/Coronavirus
Source – Consumer Information, Federal Trade Commission – “Now more than ever, spot the scams with #FTCScamBingo,” March 24, 2020