Education, Lifestyle, Money, Security
by Insight Credit Union,
March 18, 2020
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are warning against a surge in coronavirus scams that can be difficult to spot.
How the scams play out
Here are some of the most prevalent coronavirus scams:
The fake funding scam. In this scam, victims receive bogus emails, text messages or social media posts asking them to donate to a research team on the verge of a drug and/or vaccine for COVID-19. Unfortunately, any money donated to these “funds” will go to scammers.
The bogus health agency. Scammers send alerts appearing to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the WHO; however, they’re created by scammers. These emails sport the logo of the agencies that allegedly sent them, and the URL is similar to those of the agencies as well. Victims believe these missives are sent by legitimate agencies. While some of these emails provide useful information, they often also spread misinformation. Even worse, they infect the victims’ computers with malware.
The phony purchase order. Scammers hack the computer systems at medical treatment centers to obtain information about outstanding orders for face masks and other supplies. The scammers then send the buyer a phony purchase order listing the requested supplies and demanding payment. The buyer wires payment directly into the scammer’s account.
Spotting the scams
Scammers give themselves away when they ask for payment via specific means, including wire transfer or prepaid gift card. Another giveaway is poor writing skills and misspelled words. “Breaking information” alerts allegedly sent by health agencies are another sign of a scam.