Scammers have been praying on the elderly for years but they are especially taking advantage of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Though the reason behind the scam is new, their methods are familiar. Here are a few COVID-19 specific scams to look out for.
Scams offering COVID-19 vaccine, cure, air filters, or testing. At this time, there is no vaccine or cure for COVID-19. There are no air filter systems designed to remove COVID-19 from the air in your home. If you think you need a COVID-19 test, you should start by speaking to your doctor and getting a referral to an appropriate testing site near you.
Fake COVID-19 related charity scams. Anytime a person contacts you to donate to a charity you are not familiar with you should look more into the charity. Researching their website or doing a google search is a good starting place. Be leery if you get a telephone call following up on a donation that you do not recall making. These are usually scams.
Scams targeting your Social Security benefits. During this pandemic, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) will not suspend or decrease your Social Security benefits. Scammers are contacting people through letter, text, email, and phone calls and tricking people into believing they need to give them personal information or their Social Security benefits will be suspended or decreased due to COVID-19. This is a scam. Any of these communications should be reported to the SSA Inspector General.
In the end, the most important thing to remember is that if something doesn’t feel right, say “no” if it sounds too good to be true.