Our lives have been turned upside down like a big punch in the gut. Many businesses have shut their doors and some might not ever open again. Citizens are scared of the uncertainty and some are scared for their health. Just like the scams we saw after 9/11 we are starting to see people maliciously take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic and use this time by making money by scamming people and taking advantage of fear and concern. Here are my tips for avoiding scammers.
1. Hang up on the Robo calls. By now we should have experience with the infamous IRS or Social Security calls. You know the "there's a warrant for your arrest" or "your social security number has been suspended" calls. No business or government agency uses robots to try and get money out of you.
2. There are no door to door test or vaccination kits. Don't buy products, online or otherwise, that aren't even proven to work yet. They don't exist. Check with the FDA if you are uncertain about that fact. Make sure you fact check information. By now there are several sites online you can go to to check the facts.
3.Know who you are buying from. Hot commodities like hand sanitizer, face masks, toilet paper, etc. are being used as a purchasing ploy. The scammer gets your money and you get nothing.
4. Don't respond to texts or emails claiming that you're going to get a check from the government. You don't want to click on any link you don't recognize it could be another virus waiting to happen, if you know what I mean.
5. Do your homework when it comes to donations. Don't let anyone rush you. Please don't do donations by cash, gift cards, or wiring money.
6. Letters that say your Social Security benefits have been suspended due to Covid-19 is just not true. Social security benefits will not be suspended or withheld. Many scammers love to take advantage of this situation.
The old adage, if it's too good to be true it probably is. These are unprecedented times. Take care of yourself and your neighbor. Stay safe and always be vigilant.