While the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be waning, fear — especially among the older population, is not. That’s a vulnerability scammers continue to exploit for big bucks. These are some of the more common COVID-19 scams to be on the lookout for, and ways to guard against them:
Stimulus check scams
The last stimulus checks went out last year, but scammers are still fomenting confusion among population segments continuing to look for financial help. You still see emails and text messages claiming to know the whereabouts of your stimulus check with offers to help you get it deposited into your bank account. There are no more stimulus checks, so ignore any such claims.
COVID treatment scams
People are still looking for treatments and other COVID-related products and supplies such as testing kits. While most legitimate supplies are available at your local drug store or pharmacist, scammers are still trying to lure people in with emails and texts offering access to “cheap” supplies or to treatments that are not widely available. It’s best to ignore such emails and texts and avoid making purchases from unfamiliar websites.
Posing as charity organizations, scammers take advantage of the kind hearts of people who want to help others during difficult times. If you want to donate money, make sure it’s for a legitimate charity. Look up the charity using the IRS charity search tool that lists all qualified organizations. If the organization isn’t listed, it’s probably not legit.
Fake information websites
Everyone is looking for the latest COVID-related information. Scammers have created fake COVID websites claiming to have exclusive information from the Centers for Disease Control, or similar organizations. They lure people to their sites and then download malicious software to your computer capable of stealing your personal information. Never click on a link to a website from an email or text claiming to have exclusive COVID information. Always rely on legitimate sources, like the CDC or the Colorado COVID website.