During this past year, the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have reminded us how important it is to help each other through difficult times. In May, as we celebrate Older Americans Month, remember that one of the best ways to help your friends and family is to pass on what you know about how to spot and avoid Coronavirus-related scams.
Here are some things to share:
- COVID-19 vaccines are free. If anyone charges you for help signing up or the shot itself, it’s a scam.
- Scammers may pose as the government and contact you to ask for payment — in cash, gift cards, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. The government will never ask you to pay in any of those ways, but scammers will.
- FEMA’s not reaching out to register you for the new U.S. government program to help with funeral costs of family members who died due to COVID-19. FEMA will not contact you before you register with them. Only scammers will.
- Shopping online is less of an adventure than it was early in the pandemic, but it still pays to do some checking before you buy. If you find yourself shopping on a site you don’t usually do business with, search online for their name plus “complaint,” “review,” and “scam.” See what others think of them before you hand over your credit card number.
- Think critically about your sources of information. When you’re looking for pandemic-related help, start with sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information directly from the government.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
In reply to If you get a call saying they by Lynette65
In reply to What if someone also asks you by Glennavineyard1972
You might use your PIN when you buy things with your debit card, or use your debit card at an ATM.
If someone you don't know asks for your PIN, they might be trying to get money from your bank account.