WATCH OUT FOR MONEY SCAMS
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a rise in virus-related scams as criminals seek to take advantage of public fears and those who have experienced financial hardships. Scammers are trying to make a profit by exploiting public health issues by spreading misinformation and creating confusion. It’s important to stay vigilant in order to protect yourself and your family from scams and fraudulent offers. Always remember the old adage,
“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”
Here are a few of the recently identified scams:
There is no out-of-pocket cost to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States regardless of immigration or health insurance status. Scammers, however, are trying to lure people into paying by:
- Offering priority status for vaccinations
- Scheduling appointments through online event platforms like Eventbrite
- Having people pay in advance or an out-of-pocket fee
- Requiring a virus test before getting the vaccine
- Offering to put your name on a waiting list
- Saying a dose can be shipped to you for a fee
Visit www.CDC.gov or your local health authority for more information about where you can receive your free vaccination.
COVID-19 Relief Stimulus Scams
Fraudsters are calling, emailing and texting individuals claiming to be from the U.S. Treasury Department and offering to help expedite stimulus payments for a fee. The 2021 Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) began being disbursed on March 12 and will go out in batches in coming weeks through direct deposit, by check or by debit card. You do not have to pay anyone to help you receive this payment.
For more information about the latest stimulus payments, visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.
Money mules are people who receive and transfer money obtained from victims of fraud. While some money mules knowingly assist this criminal activity, others become money mules without realizing their activity is benefiting fraudsters.
Some Money Mule scams include:
Work-from-home offers – A job posting offers easy money for reshipping packages, buying gift cards or Postal Money Orders, or transferring money, which can be done at home.
Confidence Scams – A person or business you don’t know offers to pay you a commission if you transfer money for them. Many of these scammers are active on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Lottery Scams – A person informs you that you need to transfer or accept money to collect a prize.
Romance Scams – A person you’ve met online or on an app who says they’re romantically interested in you asks you to transfer money and/or packages.
A simple rule is to not engage in financial transactions with strangers or accept a job that promises easy money and involves sending or receiving money or packages. If money is tight and you need financial assistance, don’t fall victim to a money scam. Give YOUR Credit Union a call at 877-769-4766. We are here to help you with all your financial needs!