During the current Covid-19 healthcare crisis, we've seen a number of examples of people and companies rising to the occasion with compassionate deeds. Unfortunately, crises also bring out the worst in people, and the Coronavirus outbreak is no exception with con artists preying on people's fears.
As a result, in addition to worrying about the virus and all its financial consequences, people have one more thing to worry about - scammers.
Financial scams designed to secure personal information and rob people of their finances are not new but have taken on new forms since the advent of Covid-19. Take for example, the fake Coronavirus home-testing kits that were discovered as part of a bust involving a shipment from the U.K.
Between the overwhelming amount of information that is being disseminated daily relative to the virus and the level of fear that has gripped our nation, and the world, people are more vulnerable than ever to various scams.
According to the Ohio Attorney General, Coronavirus-related scams and cons are showing up in many different ways, from emails and social posts to phone calls, texts and even at the front door.
Some of the more common scams include:
- The sale of fake products claiming to fight the virus or provide protection against it.
- People impersonating representatives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO) offering to conduct free tests.
- Phishing scams asking for personal information in exchange for critical health updates.
- Fake GoFundMe accounts claiming to support local unemployed workers or others adversely impacted by the virus and related shutdowns.
You can avoid becoming a victim by remaining vigilant and doing a bit of homework before acting.
- Don't click on links from unknown sources.
- Avoid online offers for vaccines or cures.
- Thoroughly research nonprofits before donating money.
- Never give banking information to someone who contacts you by phone, email or text. Neither the bank nor a government agency will ever ask you for such confidential information over the phone.
For accurate, up-to-date information about Covid-19 and various vaccines or treatments, rely only on valid government sites such as cdc.gov or who.int.
The information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither Cortland Bank or its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering you any tax, accounting or legal advice.
If you suspect fraud, immediately contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at ohioprotects.org or call 800-282-0515.
If you receive suspicious communication claiming to be from Cortland Bank, please notify us by calling 330.637.8040 ext. 1520 before providing any information to the caller. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For up-to-date information from Cortland Bank and our response to the Covid-19 situation, visit www.cortandbank.com/alert.