Monday, June 28, 2021

How to Protect Yourself from Common COVID-19 Swindles by Vivienne Diane Neal

Whenever an epidemic strikes, you can be sure some people will create ways to steal your money or personal information through a phone call or an email.


Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

Not a day goes by where I do not receive a phone call from someone claiming that my warranty on my car has expired. The funny thing is I have never owned a car nor can I drive. Then there is a call from a so-called police association asking for a donation. To cut down on these calls, I will leave my answering machine on. If the caller does not leave a message, chances are it is a fraud.


Scammers can make it look as though they are calling from a genuine business. I received a call from a person pretending to be a major retailer, indicating that there were suspicious acts on my account. However, it does not end here. There are emails that I have received telling me that my vendor’s order was charged to my account and will be delivered shortly; if you have any questions, click on this link. Again, I do not have a vendor’s account at this particular company but if I did click on that link, my data and pertinent information would be at their disposal.


During times like this, you must stay vigilant. Protect yourself with the following tips:


·       Offers that appear to be too good to be true.

·       Suspicious websites, emails, or advertisements offering items and/or opportunities at impractical discounts.

·       Social media accounts that appear to offer vouchers or gift cards. Some may appear as seasonal promotions or contests.

·       Charity swindles where criminals set up false charities and profit from individuals who donate.

·       Online retailers that do not provide adequate information on privacy, terms and dispute resolution, or contact details.

·       Overseas sellers that force you to use your debit card instead of secure payment services like PayPal or credit cards.


If you think you have been a victim of a scam or identity theft, please visit to file a report through the Federal Trade Commission.

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