Protect Yourself from these COVID-19 Scams

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Protect Yourself from these COVID-19 Scams

Protect Yourself from these COVID-19 Scams

While you continue to protect yourself and others from the spread of coronavirus, you should also take steps to protect your finances and your identity. Scammers see events like the pandemic as a prime opportunity to take advantage of people’s fear and uncertainty. It’s important to educate yourself with the warning signs of common coronavirus-related scams so you know what to look out for to protect yourself.

The most important step you can take to protect yourself from scams is: Never share your personal or financial information via email, text or social media message, over the phone, or through any other channel of communication, especially your digital banking login ID and password, account number, or Secure Access Code.

Here are other ways you can protect yourself:

Protect Your Payment

  • If you know you will be receiving your Economic Impact Payment via paper check, make sure you check for the security features so you know your check is legitimate and not a counterfeit. Look for the official U.S. Treasury watermark and seal, and microprinting on the back of the check.
  • If you will be receiving your Economic Impact Payment via direct deposit into your account, know that there is no “early access” to the payments that you can sign up for. The payments are automatically disbursed by the IRS, and we will deposit the funds into your account as soon as we receive them.

Protect Your Identity

  • Do not share photos of your COVID-19 vaccination card on social media where your date of birth or other personal identification information are visible. This information can be used to steal your identity, especially if your post is publically viewable and not private or restricted.
  • Any offer to purchase a COVID-19 vaccination card is a scam. Valid proof of COVID-19 vaccination can only be provided by legitimate providers administering vaccines.
  • Be careful how you dispose of any COVID-19 materials such as vaccination cards or any other records. Shred any paper documents to prevent fraudsters from stealing your identifying information.

Protect Your Information

  • Do not engage with any unsolicited phone calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests, vaccines, or supplies. If you receive a suspicious phone call, ignore it or hang up.
  • Be wary of phone calls from scammers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask you for your insurance information, financial information, or request to set up a COVID-19 test for you and obtain payment information for the test.
  • Government and state officials will not call you to collect personal information in order for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You will also never be asked for money to improve your ranking for vaccine eligibility.
  • Don’t fall for scare tactics. Scam artists attempt to obtain information by intimidation, such as threatening to delete your financial account if you do not comply with their request. This will not happen. Use your best judgement and follow your gut instincts to deflect scammers’ manipulation tactics.

Protect Yourself Online

  • Update your financial account passwords. This should be done regularly, and is one of the best ways you can protect your account. Update your Digital Banking Login ID and password by following the steps in our Digital Banking Guide.
  • Take advantage of multi-factor authentication and biometrics (such as fingerprint scanning or facial recognition technology) to add an extra layer of security to your account. Enable these features on any other accounts that they are available to you.
  • Check your account regularly in Digital Banking and review your monthly statements to quickly detect any fraudulent activity. Set up e-Alerts to be immediately notified of any activity on your account.
  • Do not respond to, open attachments, or click links in unsolicited emails or text messages about COVID-19.
  • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites.
  • If you schedule an appointment online for a COVID-19 test or vaccination, make sure the location is an official testing or vaccination site through a legitimate provider.

Protect Your Finances

  • Be cautious when it comes to work-from-home offers. So many people have lost their jobs, have been furloughed, are working fewer hours, or dealing with other circumstances that are leading them to search for remote work opportunities. Scammers know that employment has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and rely on people’s financial concerns to cloud their better judgement against fraudulent job offers. Double check everything before applying or accepting.
  • There are so many people and organizations in need of financial assistance during this time. Don’t let compassion outweigh caution. If you feel compelled to donate to charities, coronavirus relief funds, or crowdfunding efforts, verify their legitimacy first. If donating to an organization, donate directly to them, rather than through a person or a company on the organization’s behalf. Never let anyone pressure you into making a donation.

We are committed to serving you and keeping you informed. Please check our COVID-19 Information page for the most recent updates on our COVID-19 response and the measures we are taking.

At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.