Beware of COVID-19 Scams
Date of Event:
APRIL 8, 2020
POLICE WARN OF STIMULUS CHECK SCAMS
This official looking letter scam was recently sent to a resident in Aurora, IL. The letter and the envelope do look similar to that used by the US federal government. Please be aware as fraud attempts will only increase and people may fall victim if they do not have direct deposit for their IRS tax return.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is urging taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the coronavirus, or COVID-19. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.
“We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don’t open them or click on attachments or links. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.”
Taxpayers should watch not only for emails but text messages, websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information.
APRIL 1, 2020
FBI WARNS OF SCAMS
The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued an alert warning of
coronavirus-related phishing attacks, particularly surrounding economic stimulus checks. The news that the US government is likely to send upwards of $1,000 to most Americans has created a golden opportunity for scammers, especially since the delivery method for the cash is still uncertain.
"Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19," the Bureau says. "Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves."
Coronavirus-related fraud has skyrocketed, and we've seen many examples of it in the past few weeks. The FBI says to be wary of this trend when you seek information about the topic online
MARCH 20, 2020
AVOID CORONAVIRUS SCAMS
Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
- Get someone else’s opinion. Ask a coworker: Were we expecting an email from this sender? Or ask a friend: Does this email look strange to you? A good practice is to use a different medium to verify (for example, if you receive a strange email claiming to be your friend, try calling your friend over the phone to double-check that it’s from them).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
- If you would like to help locally, consider making a donation of food and paper products to the Hanover Township Foodbank which serves over 800 families a month and has been doing a phenomenal job during this crisis to take care of those in need.
- The Village Hall has moved its food donation bins just outside its doors and will be delivering the donations made to the Foodbank on a daily basis.