ABC11 and the Better Business Bureau have received dozens of emails from viewers who got calls that claim you can get your money right away if you just give the caller your debit or credit card information.
Scammers are calling claiming you qualify for $1,000 to $14,000 in relief from COVID-19 from the federal government. In some cases, the scammer claims it's grant money.
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The Federal Communications Commission also issued a warning Friday about scammers who are promoting bogus coronavirus cures, offering fake test kits, sending hoax text messages and generally preying on virus-related fears.
If you get a suspicious call, remember these Troubleshooter takeaways: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Also, you never pay money to get money, that's a sure sign it's a scam.
Plus, there are no grants related to the novel coronavirus for individuals, so that's a sure sign this is a rip-off.
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This is just the beginning of these scams, you really need to be on guard when it comes to emails, texts and phone calls related to COVID-19. If you're asked for any personal information or to give any type of payment information hang up.
The Federal Trade Commission also offers this advice when it comes to scams related to COVID-19:
- Scammers will exploit any situation they think will help them be more successful in their scam. With the outbreak of COVID-19, scammers have found a platform that preys on people's fears and could make them more likely to be victimized.
- Be aware that criminals are attempting to use malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received. Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide. Report scams and attempted fraud at ic3.gov.
- Although this is happening, you can avoid falling prey to this type of scam. By remembering these four tips, the public can both protect themselves and help stop this type of activity:
- Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from senders you don't recognize.
- Always independently verify the information originates from a legitimate source (for example, check the CDC website)
- Refuse to supply login credentials or financial data in response to an email.
- Visit websites by inputting their domains manually.