Scammers call, text, tweet, email, name it, and they use the novel coronavirus to catch you off guard.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers have lost $ 5.85 million to COVID-19 programs, and that is exactly what the agency was reported to. The average median loss from these scams to each consumer is around $ 600.

Since the start of the year, the FTC has received more than 8,400 complaints related to the coronavirus of consumers, double what they were about a week ago.

COVID-19 Fraudulent Voicemail Messages:

There are several different types of voicemail messages you need to watch out for, all of which are scams. Here are some examples from the Federal Communications Commission on some of the fake voicemail messages.

Phone scam test kit: The Coronavirus Response Act made coronavirus testing more accessible immediately. If you want to receive a free test kit delivered to your home overnight, press 1. If you do not want your free test, press 2.

Student loan reminder scam: Hello, this is Brad … with an important message regarding the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on your student loans. As you may have already heard, President Trump invoked his power as Commander-in-Chief by declaring a national emergency due to the widespread impact of COVID-19. New measures will include waiving interest on your federal student loans until further notice. During this period, our offices have continued to maintain a full staff and will continue to do so until further notice. For more information on the impact of these new measures on your future payment obligations, call us today at 855-264-XXXX before 6:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Thank you and good day

Social security scam:Hello, this is a call from the social security administration. In these difficult times of the coronavirus, we regret to inform you that we have been ordered to suspend your social networks immediately within 24 hours due to suspicious and fraudulent activity found on your social networks. We are contacting you as this case is critical and requires your urgent attention. For more information on this case, please call our service number 888-991-XXXX immediately. I repeat 888-991-XXXX.

Delivery scam:Dear Customer: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are delivering a wide range of disinfectants, hand washing products, toilet paper and face masks to your doorstep to protect you and your family from the coronavirus. No need to visit the stores. Get delivery in 24 hours. To order, press 1. For more coronavirus knowledge and safety tips, press 2.

CVC for coronavirus phone scam: Protect your loved ones from the coronavirus. For just $ 79, our highly trained technicians will perform a complete cleaning and sanitizing of air ducts to ensure the air you breathe is free of bacteria. So go ahead, press 0 and have your duct system cleaned and sanitized now. Press 9 to be removed from this list.

Diabetic test kit scam: If you have diabetes and use insulin, we may qualify you to get a free diabetic monitor and a free coronavirus test kit. To know more, please press 1, otherwise please press 2.

Work from home scam: Hello, this is a courtesy invitation to work with Amazon from home and earn up to $ 400 per day. Open registration has started for the Amazon Associate Program. The program allows you to partner with Amazon and share their success, as a referral partner. Anyone over 18 qualifies. No commercial or technical experience is required. Work at home. You set your own schedule. To learn more about the partnership with Amazon, call the Amazon hotline at 360-203-XXXX. Space is limited, so please call 360-203-XXXX now, which is 360-203-XXXX. Thank you.

Other COVID-19 scams

Many people are also reporting receiving text messages, emails and social media messages regarding the stimulus package. While many consumers will receive checks as part of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus, no one will call or text you to verify your personal information or bank details in order to “release” the funds. The Treasury Department expects most people to receive their payments through the direct deposit information the department has on file from previous tax returns.

You should also beware of charity scams. Hackers will duplicate nonprofit websites or pretend to belong to a legitimate charity and call for donations. If you want to donate, never do it from a telemarketer or robocall. Instead, go directly to the charity and donate through them.

The FCC offers the following tips to help protect you from scams, including coronavirus-related scams:

Do not answer calls or texts from unknown numbers or any other that seems suspicious.

Never share your personal or financial information via email, text, or phone.

Be careful if you are pressured to share information or make a payment immediately.

Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or answering. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.

Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend text you with a suspicious link that seems out of place, call them to make sure it hasn’t been hacked.

Always verify the existence of a charity (for example, by calling or checking their actual website) before making a donation.

Investment scams

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is warning investors that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is likely to trigger a wave of investment fraud.

“Unfortunately, crooks will seek to exploit growing concerns about COVID-19 to lure people into investment traps,” Marshall said. “Scammers often use the headlines of the day in their speeches, so expect to see them grapple with the fear surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and recent economic developments to promote fictitious investments. “

What you need to watch out for are impostors who may develop plans falsely claiming to raise capital for companies making surgical masks and gowns, producing ventilators, distributing small molecule drugs and other preventative pharmaceuticals, or making vaccines and miracle cures.

Marshall has also said he does not fall into the trap of con artists who will seek to take advantage of concerns about volatility in securities markets to promote “safe” investments with “guaranteed returns”, including gold-linked investments. money and other commodities; oil and gas; and real estate.

“From guarantees of high risk-free returns to promises of quick fixes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” warned Marshall. “I urge North Carolina to follow these tips to help protect your financial and physical health as you go through these uncertain times.”

Investors are encouraged to call the NC Investor hotline at (800) 688-4507 or email [email protected] before signing their money on any investment opportunity. If you believe that an investment opportunity is fraudulent, you can report it at www.sosnc.gov. You can also find a host of investor education materials at www.sosnc.gov/divisions/securities.

Here are some troubleshooting tips to protect yourself from scams

  • Do not answer calls or texts from unknown numbers or any other that seems suspicious
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text or phone
  • Be careful if you are pressured to share information or make a payment immediately
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend text you with a suspicious link that seems out of place, call them to make sure it hasn’t been hacked.

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