Unfortunately, there are many scams that have occurred due to the Covid Pandemic. Scammers have taken advantage of programs and benefits that have been developed since the pandemic began. They want your personal information and your money. When they get ahold of your personal information, you are vulnerable to identity theft. If you have been a victim of identity theft, you’ll want to check your credit reports to report the fraud and inaccuracies. Read my post to learn more on how to guard yourself, Credit Reports and Identity Theft to learn more.
Types of Pandemic Scams
The following scams were described on the Consumer Finance website. As they say, knowing about the pandemic scams is the first step in guarding yourself and your identity.
- Person in Need scams. These are scammers posing as your relative or friend who claims to be ill, stranded in another state or foreign country, or otherwise in trouble, and ask you to send money. Hang up, call the actual friend or relative and confirm. Don’t send money unless you’re sure of the person calling.
- Charity scams are when a thief poses as a real charity or makes up the name of a charity that sounds real to get money from you. Don’t automatically give them your info. Check their website and make sure they are legit.
- Social security benefits scams attempting to gain your information.
- Scams posing as government officials to gain your information and money. Say NO to anyone asking for cash, gift cards, wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or personal and financial information, whether they contact you by phone, texts email, or by showing up in person. Don’t share your Social Security, Medicare ID, driver’s license, bank account, or credit card numbers.
- Funeral expense scams. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that scammers are contacting people and pretending to offer to register them for funeral expense benefits. If you’ve lost a loved one, know that FEMA will not contact you until you until you call or apply for assistance. Find out how you can qualify for the benefits at FEMA’s Funeral Assist FAQs.
- Student loan debt relief scammers attempt to contact you and ask for your information and a fee to suspend your payment. Report the fraud to reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/ This is definitely a reason to monitor your credit reports.
- Unemployment benefits scammers want your personal information to receive unemployment benefits without your knowledge. This is identity theft! If you think this type of fraud has happened, report it to the unemployment office in your state, and if you did file for unemployment benefits, double check for the correct amount on your 1099-G form at tax time. Also, begin to monitor your credit for any other fraud
- Suspicious transaction and deposits into your bank account. With these types of unemployment benefit scams, callers tell you the deposit was a mistake and want you to send them money. Report these to your state’s unemployment office, your bank, the local police and right away.
- Advance Child Tax Credit scams. The IRS states there is only one avenue to register on IRS.gov for that specific credit and anything else is a scam.
For more information about these Covid pandemic scams and more, check out consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/avoiding-scams/ For more information about other types of scams out there, go to consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/fraud/
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