I want to share some Covid scams you can avoid by following some simple guidelines. The Coronavirus has ravaged the world creating an unimaginable loss of family members and devastating economic consequences.
Vaccines have been developed and will be available to everyone in a few more months. Meanwhile we have to keep doing what works. And remember, scammers see opportunity in every situation, and that is why I am alerting you of some Covid scams you can avoid.
Covid Scams You Can Avoid
A Breakdown Of Covid Scams You Can Avoid
Contact Tracers are essential in our fight to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. However, it is important to know that scammers are impersonating legitimate contact tracers. So, we need to be able to tell who is legitimate and who is the scammer.
Contact tracers track people who may have been exposed to Covid 19. They play a very important role to help prevent the spread of the virus. They contact you and alert you to self quarantine if necessary, and ask about everybody you have been around and get them to quarantine as well. That is how we are going to stop the coronavirus from spreading as quickly.
In fact it was exhaustive contact tracing that eliminated small pox. As people were Identified, it was followed by isolating all infected persons and the outbreak was stopped without any vaccines.
However, scammers see an opportunity to rip us off. They try to steal you personal information to clean out your bank account. Here are some ways to to tell the difference between a scammer and a tracer.
How To Recognize the Legitimate Contact Tracer
A contact tracer wants to contact you because of results of a recent Covid test or because someone you know tested positive. Legitimate contact tracers will contact you by various means. They may email, text, call or visit you at home. to warn you and also to collect information from you.
Here is a sample of what you may be asked:
- Your name and address
- Health information
- Names of places and people you have visited or been in contact with. (Giving this vital information helps everyone, so please cooperate as much as you can.
How To Recognize The Scammer
Scammers want to make a buck somehow. Watch out for these signals:
- You don’t pay contact tracers. If someone tries to charge you for contact tracing, it is a scammer.
- Do not give your financial or Social Security numbers. There is no reason for a legitimate contact tracer to need any financial information, including any credit card numbers!
- Don’t share your immigration status – Legitimate contact tracers don’t need this information either.
- Avoid clicking on any links or download anything sent from a contact tracer, it is fake. Legitimate contact tracers will only send a message to notify you they will be calling you. They will not ask for personal information or ask you to download anything.
If you think you are dealing with someone who is a possible scammer, contact your state health department and find out if you can check on the contact tracer you think may be a scammer. If that isn’t possible, hang up or close your door. Don’t respond to any emails or texts, or click any links in any contacts you suspect are not legitimate.
Report Any Covid Scams And Avoid Getting Trapped
So, what should you do after you discover a fake contact tracer?
Report any suspicious activity by calling your state health department and file an online report with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint
The government sent out economic impact checks earlier this year, and there is still some discussion about issuing a second check.
If you receive any texts, emails or phone calls about any government checks, do not respond. It is not the government, it is scammers trying to trick you into giving them your personal information. Every adult citizen received a check if they qualified for the income limits. No emails or texts were sent before the checks were issued.
Income Limits Needed To Qualify:
- less than $150,000 for married couples.
- $112,500 or less for filing as head of household.
- Less than $75,000 for any other filing status
American citizens who qualified include:
- Taxpayers – anyone who filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019
- Retirees – people receiving retirement benefits such as Social Security, Railroad or others.
- Beneficiaries – Those receiving public benefits like SSDI, disability, or veteran’s benefits.
- Non-filers – People who were not required to file a federal tax return. (Those making less than $12,200 or $24,400 for married couples.)
Direct Deposts Help Avoid Any Covid Scams
These checks are deposited in the same payment account used to file your taxes. Non-filers go to irs.gov/coronavirus and access the non-filers portal. You can also use the “get my payment” feature. The last call date for your economic impact check was November 21 at 3pm Eastern time.
However scammers were (and still are) trying to rip people off by getting them to pay a fee to receive their checks. And they also try to get your SSI number, bank information, or government benefit debit card numbers. You do not need to give any personal information to receive your payments, so don’t give any of it to anyone.
Offers Of Vaccinations or Covid Treatments
If you receive any offers for any type of vaccinations or Covid treatments or cures, ignore them. They are scammers trying to get your money!
Beware of Ads For Test Kits. Do not trust anyone trying to sell you a test over the phone, through texts or email. Only legitimate tests are approved by the FDA. For approved tests, go to one of the accredited and approved sites online that say “FDA Authorized Test Kit”
Hang Up On Robocalls – They Are Scams You Can Avoid
Most robocalls trying to sell you something are illegal. As a result unless you gave a company written permission to call you, it is illegal. And they have to tell you that you will be receiving a robocall. If you gave permission, you have the right to change your mind later. And if someone is calling you illegally, it is likely a scam! However, some robocalls offer information and are permissible.
Robocalls That Are Permitted
- Calls that remind you of appointments, or notify you of delayed school openings are informational and are permitted.
- Debt collectors are allowed to call, but people trying to sell debt payment services are not.
- Political calls are allowed.
- Calls from doctors or pharmacies are allowed.
- Messages from charities can call previous donors, but must allow an opt out option.
To Report Illegal Robocalls
You can report illegal robocalls to the FTC at donotcall.gov When you report robocalls, you will need the phone number. More importantly, write them down beforehand, especially if you intend to use your phone to make the report. Describe the type of call you are getting and what happens when you answer the call.
Emails Are Covid Scams You Can Avoid
Scammers are using fake emails and texts that claim to be from the Center For Disease Control – CDC or the World Health Organization -WHO. Do not be fooled. These are not real. Any links in any emails like that are going to be fake. Do not click any links. Always look up the agency you want to contact and use the links on their website.
Donations Should Be Researched And Addresses Checked, They Can Be A Scam You Can Avoid
When you make donations, be sure you know who you are donating to and that the address is legitimate. Scammers impersonate reputable charities. Check the addresses. Make sure the money is going to the address you intended.
Protect your money, check your accounts often for any unusual activity, wear your mask, social distance, avoid having crowds indoors.
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Thank you for reading, if you have any experiences with getting scammed, please share it below.
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I am Chas, creator and founder of Help For Scams And Frauds. I started affiliate marketing and earning money online in 2015. And I can tell you, anyone can do this. But, in order to build a business the right way you must have the right training and avoid the get rich quick schemes.