COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it today. Everything is currently impacted by the virus, and fraudulent activity is not an exception. With everyone in America being more vulnerable and anxious than ever, scammers have seized this opportunity to exploit consumers. Here are four things you need to be wary of to ensure that you don't fall victim to COVID-19 scammers.
COVID-19 and Fraud - Infographic
1. Keep Your Eyes Open When It Comes To COVID Tests
One of the biggest ways scammers have been preying on nervous consumers is by claiming to have vaccinations for COVID-19 or COVID-19 tests when they do not. If someone insists they have a vaccination or medication that will prevent or treat COVID-19, be extraordinarily cautious. There are legitimate COVID-19 vaccines and tests, but just be weary of fraudulent ones. A good rule of thumb is not to trust any medical information unless it is coming directly from a medical professional.
2. Be Careful When Online Shopping
Online shopping always has it's risks, but now the stakes are higher than ever. If you are online shopping, make sure that you are taking extra precautions before you share any personal information. You can double-check that a website is trustworthy by checking the legitimacy of its domain name. Additionally, only shop on websites that you are familiar with and have already purchased from before.
3. Check Your Credit Reports
Frequently analyzing your credit reports will help you to be able to detect any fraudulent activity. If you see any unusual activity or something that shouldn't be there, you can file a report with one of the credit bureaus to close your account to prevent any further fraudulent activity. Additonally, consumers can about consumers can receive one free credit report from each bureau annually.
4. Enroll In An Identity Theft Protection Program
Signing up for an identity theft protection service is a great option to prevent scammers from hacking your personal and financial information. At Coastal, we provide a variety of tools to help protect you from theft.
Explore Coastal's Fraud Prevention Tools
Walk Away With This
Some scams are unpreventable, however, if you utilize these four strategies you will decrease your chances of being a vicitim of COVID-19 scammers. We will eventually get back to a new "normal", but in the meantime, make sure that you are taking the extra steps to ensure that your personal and financial information stays safe and secure.
See Coastal's Response To COVID-19