BE SAFE AND BE AWARE
During challenging times like this, the bad guys come out of the woodwork. Be aware of the scam artists. WE WILL NEVER ASK YOU FOR PERSONAL OR ACCOUNT INFORMATION BY PHONE OR EMAIL.
If you feel like you have been contacted by scam artists:
• Immediately contact your local law enforcement office
• If internet-related, please visit www.ic3.gov to file a complaint.
• If you think you may have given information to someone suspicious, immediately contact our Customer Service Desk at 800-447-2265.
COVID-19 HOTLINE SCAM
Please be aware there are several phishing scams where the caller impersonates a representative from the COVID-19 Hotline or other medical entity. The scammer is asking for personal information like social security and date of birth, telling callers they must have that information in order to release COVID-19 testing results. Please do not give out your social security number over the phone. Any confirmation of a positive COVID-19 swab test will be made by the clinic where you were seen.
GENERAL PHONE SCAMS
If anyone makes an empty promise that requires upfront payment, demands personal or financial information, or asks you to pay them with a gift card, this is likely a scam. Do your research. Please remember that real legal notices are sent in writing and are not communicated over the phone.
Recently, there have been reports of groups or individuals going door-to-door falsely claiming to be doing in-home testing for coronavirus. Some scammers may claim to be from the government or authorized by the government.
COVID-19 CURE SCAMS
There is no FDA-approved cure for coronavirus. Any company claiming that their product can prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus without competent medical research supporting their claims is breaking the law. There is no credible evidence that coronavirus can be cured by drinking bleach, drinking colloidal silver, taking herbal supplements, or using other homeopathic remedies. When in doubt, consult a medical professional.
IMPLIED CLAIMS SCAMS
In order to evade liability, some companies will merely imply that their products prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus. Read claims carefully so you understand what is being promised and what is not.
E-MAIL PHISHING SCAMS
Do not click on links sent to you by people you don't know. In the wake of disasters like the coronavirus outbreak, scammers will often email or text consumers claiming to offer things like free vaccines or free testing kits. Scammer will also attempt to collect personal information by impersonating a government agency like the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and others. Never provide your personal information to someone you don't know.
If anyone asks you for a donation to a coronavirus related charity, do your homework before donating. Do not donate to anyone asking for cash, gift cards, or for money to be sent to them via wire transfer.
GENERAL DISINFORMATION SPREADING
Know how to spot disinformation. Many websites will post misleading or inflammatory information about coronavirus in order to drive up page views and make money from advertisers. Here is a list of websites that have been reported for posting or publishing false information about the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.newsguardtech.com/coronavirus-misinformation-tracking-center/. Please use the CDC's website (www.cdc.gov); or the World Health Organization's website (www.who.int) for the correct information.