Just like Coronavirus, scams are also very widespread and can have a detrimental effect on your physical and financial health. Between Stimulus Check Scams, Vaccination Scams, Test Kits Scams, Mask Scams, and Robocalls, one must always be diligent to look for, and not become susceptible to these scams. In this article, we are going to break down some of the scams that are on the rise with Coronavirus.
Stimulus Check Scams:
There is a wealth of information out there and a torrent of updates regarding the Stimulus Checks being sent out by the US Government. Because of the volume of information and its slow staggered release, people are trying to take advantage of the confusion. Beware of Texts, Phone Calls, Emails, or other Social Media messages purporting to be from the Government. The Government WILL NOT contact you in this form, and this includes the IRS. Some Scammers will try to get you to pay a fee to release or expedite your stimulus payment. Or they may tell you that they cannot release it until you provide them with vital information like your Social Security, Bank Account, Credit Card, and Government Benefits numbers. Another common scam is someone will contact you and claim to be from the IRS and tell you that they sent you too much money and now you need to send some back. All of these are scams and are fake.
Ignore Online Offers to Treat or Cure:
Every day there is more information coming out about how to treat and potentially cure or fight COVID-19. At this time, there are no products currently available that have been FDA or FTC approved for purchase and consumption that are proven to work. But that has not stopped the rise of sellers touting products that they claim can heal or protect you. Some of the treatments that they claim to work include: listening to a music CD of frequencies to resist the Coronavirus, taking high doses of intravenous vitamin C, using Chinese herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, ozone therapy, bioelectric shields, HEPA air purifiers, UV light therapy, and more. Please consult your primary care doctor or other licensed medical professional before using any forms of treatment.
Watch out for Ads for Test Kits:
As of May 8, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration has publicly released its first authorized COCID-19 diagnostic test that includes the option of using home-collected saliva samples. This is in addition to the April announcement that authorized the first diagnostic test that included the availability of the first home-collection option, using a nasal swab. As more test are approved and developed, we will start to see more home test options become available. Because of this, Scams will start to rise, as well as people selling unauthorized or simply fake and defective test kits. Currently the availability of this FDA authorized test with home-collection options are very limited and in very few areas. Consult with your doctor or physician before taking or purchasing any home test kit.
Other Common Scams:
While the above scams are some of the currently more popular and common ones, there are still many others to watch out for. Some of these includes Robocallers looking to get your vital information or pitching items like “at-home” products to health insurance schemes. Another Scam to watch out for are emails claiming to be from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the Coronavirus. Lastly, it is always very important to do your homework when it comes to donations. Lots of solicitors and other groups will be looking to prey on good-natured people trying to make donations for those in need. For more information about the above scams or Coronavirus advice in general, please visit: https://www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams-consumer-advice.