Stay Aware and Stay Safe: COVID-19 ScamsEagle Bank|January 11, 2021
With the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic moving into 2021, cybercriminals haven’t shown signs of slowing down with their attacks. While the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement are doing everything they can to put a stop to the potential cybercrimes, Eagle Bank encourages its customers to remain vigilant in their awareness of potential scams.
Here are some tips to assist you in determining if you are facing a scam: State Health Departments have deployed Contact Tracers, employees who are responsible for tracking down those who may have been exposed to COVID-19. A contact tracer might get in touch with you to discuss the results of a test you have taken or because someone you have encountered has tested positive. It is important to remember that they will not ask for a payment, personal information, or to click/download anything sent to you.
With economic impact payments being distributed by the federal government, cybercriminals will again try to take advantage of the general public, as we saw in early 2020. As with the first economic impact payment, the government will distribute the payment using the same method that they used to distribute your tax refund. Remember the IRS won’t contact you with information about your payment, if you have to submit information to them only use www.irs.gov/coronavirus. The government will not ask your to provide payment to receive your check. If you have questions about this process, go to www.irs.gov/coronavirus to learn more.
Be wary of those who are advertising for test kits, vaccinations, miracle treatments, or cures. With the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed to health care workers, many individuals are anxiously anticipating the opportunity to receive the vaccination for themselves. When the vaccine starts distribution to the general public, remember you will likely not need to pay anything to receive or put you name on a list to receive. There are no options to receive early access or the vaccine. Remember no one will contact you asking for your personal or financial information to add you to a list. Beware of those who are marketing other products to prevent the COVID-19 virus. Check with your health care provider or the state health department before paying for or receiving any COVID-19 related treatments.
Watch for emails claiming to be the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). Remember to be cautious when clicking on attachments, unless you recognize the sender. Cybercriminals will attempt to trap you by clicking on a link or attachment so they can download malware onto your computer. Use sites like www.coronavirus.gov and www.usa.gov/coronavirus to obtain the latest information.
Conduct extra research before donating to any new causes. Always remember to never donate in cash, by gift card or by wiring money. If someone is rushing you to make a donation or the details aren’t adding up, it’s likely a scam and well worth conducting your research.
For more information about COVID-19 related scams and tips on how to recognize, avoid, and report them, see www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams.