It doesn’t matter what natural disaster, health crisis, or challenge our country faces, one thing is for certain and that is hackers and scammers are out there to take you for all you’re worth. And scammers during the coronavirus are no exception. We are seeing them in Go Fund Me accounts, door-to-door, and of course, online but here are 4 Scams to Know About During the COVID-19 virus outbreak to protect you and your family.
#1. False information on the stimulus checks.
If you filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you have to do absolutely nothing to get your check. Checks will start rolling out around April 13 to those in need the most and will be directly deposited into your bank account if you have filed your taxes online. If you requested a paper check or did not file your taxes online, those checks will start to be mailed around May 4. If you have anyone calling requesting personal information in order for you to get your check, simply hang up the phone. These are scams. No one will call you with your personal information or tell you what you need to do in order to get your check.
#2. Door to door utility scams.
Many utility companies, phone companies, and other general necessities are providing deferred payments for their customers but you’ll need to call and verify before simply not making a payment. However, scammers have picked up on this and have gone door-to-door requesting personal information or demanding payment on site so that you don’t lose your utilities. This is a scam. No utility will come door to door demanding immediate payment.
#3. Video chat scams.
Given anything used for good, somebody will find a way to corrupt it. Zoom has literally taken off in the last few weeks with people doing school online, business meetings online, and even video chats with friends and family, but scammers have infiltrated even these personal chats called ‘Zoom Bombing’. To avoid this, make sure you set the meeting to private, require a password, don’t share the link publicly, and screen share to “host only”. It also helps to keep the software up-to-date at all times.
#4. Charitable donation scams.
Like I mentioned earlier, Go Fund Me is a great way to give to those in need and have already taken in over $40 million from coronavirus related accounts, but, not all of those are legitimate. Make sure you only give to your local community, one you trust, or one that friends and family have also given to. Your local food bank, local businesses, and those directly connected with people you know are the best avenues for giving.
We will all get through this eventually and I really feel that we might be on the uphill swing of things. Stay safe, keep you, your family, and your finances safe, and when this all resumes remember, when you’re ready to buy or sell in West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Township or the surrounding area, please contact me at 248-752-3088.