Rock Your Retirement Show
COVID-19 Frauds and Scams – Episode 222
April 13, 2020
As most of us are sequestered in our homes during the COVID-19 crisis, we have the opportunity to get better organized in our lives and prepare for the future. Hopefully, for most of us, the future will be bright as we return to our more normal lives. However, for some of us, the crisis will bring other life challenges. With so many people out of legitimate work. This is likely to be a time when crooks come out of the woodwork and take advantage of the situation. The results are the miracle cures the scams to get that government check, outright fraud and of course, identity theft. This podcast today has three parts. The first part is about the obvious scams that are being seen all the time, some with a COVID-19 twist. The second part is some things that you can do to organize so that you will be in the best shape should you fall prey to some of these schemes. The third part is to provide critical steps that you need to take should you become a victim of identity theft. COVID-19 Scams $1200 Check Bait Many millions of people are supposed to get a check from the government to tide us over during this very trying period. This unfortunately is like chum to a shark who wants to get his or her hands on your cheque. We don't know how the government is going to disseminate these checks, which opens the door to fraud. One thing we do know, neither the government nor any financial institution is going to call you about that payment. If you get an email or a phone call from anyone with an official sounding organization, it is only someone trying to take that cheque away from you. It would be typical that the person contacting you would want to get bank account information, offer you in advance that gets the check or get enough information so that they would know where to find the check to steal it and cash it themselves. Please do not respond to any requests coming from the telephone or email regarding your 1200 dollar payment. COVID Check Request You receive an email message from a supposedly government entity telling you that you can get your COVID relief check if you submit a form. The form requests personal information which the scammer gets, but the underlying reason is to be able to infect your machine with malware. Bottom line, the government will not issue checks in this way, so please delete the message before doing anything. Expedite Scam We actually don't know when the checks will be coming. Some say it will be more than a month. This is an opening for someone to offer you an advance on the money you're expected to get. This can take several forms. It could be alone with high interest rates, or it could be more insidious, such as the promise of money sent to your bank account, as long as you give the scammer your account number. It could also be a check that when deposited gives the person your banking information. Don't fall for someone who tells you that you can get your money earlier. Miracle Cures for COVID-19 All of us are desperate to find a cure for COVID-19. We're also desperate to take something that would make us immune. Unfortunately, there's no such remedies yet, so don't fall for the miracles that don't exist. That being said, there are a few supplements that might and I emphasize might have some benefit. Before You Buy or take anything, check with a trusted source. COVID Charities Whenever there's a crisis like this, the charities or fake charities come out like weeds. This goes from GoFundMe accounts to all kinds of charities professing to help those in need because of COVID-19. But before you plunk down any of your hard earned money, make sure that the charity is legitimate by accessi...