Coronavirus is no joke and is hurting each of us either indirectly or directly - whether through unemployment, lower wages, isolation from friends and family, or new health concerns. But, not everyone is struggling during this pandemic. Well, at least not coronavirus scammers.
As they say, there is money to be made wherever there is a disaster. Coronavirus is among us, and so are the scams that come with it. According to the Federal Trade Commission, about 224,000 complaints were made by consumers that they experienced a fraudulent crime regarding their coronavirus stimulus checks. The people involved in these crimes had lost about $160 million in total and about $303 per individual.
It is essential to educate ourselves on coronavirus scams so that we can avoid them at all costs. This virus is frightening. The public falls for these coronavirus scams because they are open to anything that could potentially keep them safe from this horrible virus. This blog will teach you the techniques to steer away from potential scams that might come your way.
What Is Covid-19 (Coronavirus): The Statistics, The Symptoms, And The CDC Recommendations
Before we get into discussing the potential scams that have arisen from the coronavirus, let's talk about what Covid-19 is. Covid-19 is a virus that causes mild to extreme symptoms in certain people. As of right now, there have been 6.1 million cases and 1.42 million deaths worldwide, which classifies this as a pandemic. In the United States alone, 12.6 million cases have occurred, and 261K deaths. So far, we have noticed that the symptoms do not show up until 14 days after exposure. The symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, chills, sore throat, chest pain, runny nose, muscle aches, and shortness of breath. However, catching coronavirus has proven to be lethal for specific groups. If you have asthma, diabetes, overweight, a weakened immune system, or cancer, you are at a higher risk.
Coronavirus is spread from person to person by tiny droplets. Anyone can spread these small droplets by coughing, sneezing, talking, and singing. The Center for Disease Control recommends that people stay at least six feet apart from each other or more to avoid catching the virus.The best solution to keep people safe is by practicing social distancing. Social distancing is where people stay in their respective homes and do not socialize with anyone outside their household. That does not mean you can never leave your house, but it does mean you should avoid lingering in places for too long. Another fantastic way to protect yourself and others is by wearing a mask. The Center for Disease Control is asking everyone to wear cloth masks instead of the N95 masks. The N95 masks are for our healthcare workers working hand in hand with people infected with the virus. By following this easy to do safety precautions can and will help you stay healthy and safe.
What Techniques Are Scammers Using?
Coronavirus scammers appear to be using every trick in the book to obtain money from innocent people. Some of the techniques these con artists use include fake social media posts, robot phone calls, phishing emails, and text messages. These scammers are savvy and keep up to date with the most recent Covid-19 headlines so that their fake news sounds realistic. Scammers have even tried to promote Covid-19 vaccines, which we all know, are just now rolling out.
Tricking people into buying a vaccine is a highly severe scam because the scammer could either have you pay a large sum of money for the "vaccine" that does not exist or send you a vile of something that could potentially be dangerous.
According to the FBI, scammers have begun advertising for antibody testing through robocalls, social media accounts, and emails and offering incentives if you do so (which you will not receive any antibody test). Not only that, but they are lying and telling people that they are from the government and demand that you take a COVID-19 antibody test and that you must pay immediately. As more and more Americans become unemployed due to coronavirus, the government has begun sending out stimulus checks. Sadly, 1 in 5 people who received stimulus checks reported that they had experienced some scam meant to steal their government money and unemployment benefits based on a survey done by Credit Karma.
These scammers are going after the little guys as much as they can. Small businesses are being targeted and promised by the scammers that they can help provide them federal disaster loans or improve their google search results, and that is just not the case. But people are falling for it because these are desperate times. Penny-stock fraud is also occurring. If you do not know what penny-stock fraud is, scammers buy stocks very cheaply and push the idea that everyone should invest in this stock. After the stock price increases, they release the stock, which hurts a lot of investors. This fraud ties into covid-19 because these con artists tell investors that this company will create the cure for covid-19 and is worth the buy. Since Corona started, hundreds of registered sites have promised a vaccine and that they have the cure for this virus, which is a scam. They are using words like quarantine and covid-19 to grab people's attention online. Luckily the Justice Department is working on dismantling all these sites to prevent the public from being scammed.
What Can You Do To Avoid These Coronavirus Scams
Avoid any offers offering a vaccine that is not coming from a legitimate source. Check the FDA's website to stay updated on approved antibody tests and companies with permission to perform the tests. Chat with your physician first and not a scammer if you are about to take an antibody test. Stay away from sharing your personal health information with anyone but the medical professionals in your life. Check your explanation of benefits to ensure that no false claims are happening on your account. Do not share social security information with any unsolicited caller. And lastly, stay updated with the CDC guidelines for the coronavirus.
To avoid being scammed, always do a background check on any person you are suspicious about, and certainly before you give that person money for ANYTHING.
New, advanced people search engines make this process simple, instant, very affordable, and are always 100% confidential. One of our favorite platforms is Glad I Know | People Search and Background Screening Made Simple. 100% Confidential. Enter the person’s name and location and the advanced people search technology searches through public records (both online and offline) on anyone in the US, and provides the important information to you in one report, including criminal, sex offender, financial and civil records, as well as social media profiles, property information, phones plus, email, family members, associates, neighbors, people linked by address, education and employment history, and much more.
You can use this information to confirm that the person is who they say they are (or reveal that they are NOT), as well as get a very good idea if you are dealing with a good or bad actor. Trust? Of course. But, verify too. It’s just the smart thing to do.
If you would like to find out more information on people search engines, check out this great video.
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