We care about your financial health & your physical health too. Unfortunately, during this time of turmoil scammers & fraudsters have ramped up their efforts to exploit your fears & the unknowns. We have some recommendations to keep your personal information & finances safe:
- Don’t share personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you initiated the contact or know the person you are dealing with.
- Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly online & asks for your personal information. It doesn’t matter how legitimate the e-mail or website may look. Only open e-mails that look like they are from people or organizations you know, & even then, be cautious if they look questionable. Be especially wary of fraudulent
e-mails or websites that have typos or other obvious mistakes.
- Don’t give out valuable personal information in response to unsolicited requests. Bank account information, social security & driver’s license numbers are some of the details that should be kept confidential.
- Be suspicious of any e-mail or phone requests to update or verify your personal information. A legitimate organization would not solicit updates in an unsecured manner for information it already has.
- Be on guard against fraudulent checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or electronic fund transfers sent to you with requests for you to wire back part of the money.
- Beware of disaster-related financial scams. Con artists take advantage of people after tragic events by claiming to be from legitimate charitable organizations when, in fact, they’re trying to steal money or valuable personal information.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know — they could download viruses onto your computer or phone. Be suspicious of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, please visit the CDC website directly https://www.cdc.gov
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The FTC is monitoring for coronavirus-related scams. To learn more, click here.
Coronavirus Stimulus Payments: Please be extra cautious of scams where fraudsters may pretend to be with the IRS & ask for your personal information. There are a few important things to know & share with older family members who may not be as well-informed:
- The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. Nothing. If you are asked to pay up front, this is a scam.
- The government will not call to ask for your Social Security Number, account numbers or credit card numbers. Anyone who calls you to ask for this is likely a scammer.
- No sign-up need; no information available yet. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money right now is a scammer.