Be Aware of these Covid-19 Scams in 2022January 5, 2022 11:44 am
This last year has been quite out-of-the-ordinary, to say the least not only in the medical world but in the home security industry as well. The global health crisis has compelled many of us to work from home or in a hybrid fashion. While this shift to at-home work and remote/hybrid schooling has created some positive statistics, such as a temporary reduction in the number of home break ins, it has also created some criminal opportunities in other areas.
Sadly, where the numbers shift in the other direction in terms of safety are the online and in-person scams related to the coronavirus. Covid-19 scams are at an all time high and are expected to continue into 2022.
While we mainly deal with home and business security and safety issues here at Instant Alarm, we thought it was worth it for our clients to outline some of the covid scams that are ongoing so you can stay vigilant.
Fraud Alert: Top Covid Scams
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been keeping Americans mindful of the multitude of fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are a few that you should be aware of both online, in-person, and through social media platforms.
Some of the most common methods being used to scam Americans include: telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits.
One of the most common frauds throughout the pandemic has been in the area of vaccine scams. Initially, scammers would go door-to-door to “offer” free vaccines before there even was one, using that chance to case the home to see if it was occupied prior to a break in.
As the pandemic continued, these vaccine scams evolved into online surveys and telemarketing calls requesting private information to be shared which would make a person vulnerable to identity theft or credit card theft if the request involved a payment of some sort in exchange for the vaccine.
Similar to vaccine scams, insurance scams encourage unsuspecting victims to give personal information either over the phone or online that could put them at risk for identity theft.
We suggest not giving any information out to organizations unless you research them or call them directly. This is most certainly true in regards to giving out payment information or personal info that could be used in malicious ways such as your social security number or credit card information.
Ways to Protect Yourself
The Department of Health & Human Services suggests some simple ways to protect yourself and your senior neighbors/parents.
- Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official testing site.
- Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to offer HHS grants related to COVID-19 or any other reasons. In fact, never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
- Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number, financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test.
- Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating.