(RepublicanDaily.org) – In August, Reuters reported that a consumer protection group found Americans have lost almost $100 million to COVID-19 scams since March. Some of the states with the highest infection rates also have the most schemes, as well. Florida, California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas residents all fell victim to the criminals.
With such rampant abuse, people need to know what to look out for.
5 Most common COVID Scams
Here are some of the most common schemes criminals might use to steal your money:
- HVAC Cleaning: Experts have expressed the importance of ventilation during the coronavirus outbreak because the virus can live in droplets of spit. That’s led to an uptick in HVAC schemes where scammers call people up and promise to clean their air ducts to get rid of COVID-19. The service won’t work, so don’t spend your money on it.
- COVID Cure: As of this writing, there’s no cure for the coronavirus. If a company claims they can keep you safe and cure the illness, they’re taking you for a ride.
- Testing Kits: The only way to get a COVID-19 test is by going to one of your city’s or county’s designated sites. If you see at-home testing kits, it’s a scam — those do not exist.
- Economic Impact Payments: Of course, any time there’s money in play, there will be a criminal trying to steal it. Don’t trust anyone who says they’ll help you get your payment faster or they can get you more money. Check out the IRS website for any questions you have about your stimulus payment.
- Fake Charities: Beware of anyone calling or contacting you and purporting to be with a charity. The pandemic has created a rise in fake organizations whose sole purpose is to steal from you.
Guard Your Information
The best thing you can do to protect yourself is by not giving out your information to anyone. The IRS or other government agencies will not be contacting you to verify details; they don’t initiate contact. If you want to donate to a charity, research them and do it on their official website. Be vigilant and you should be fine.
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