Be aware of COVID-19 scams
You should beware of scammers looking to take advantage of you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many emerging scams can compromise your personal information.
Use these tips to curb COVID-19 scammers and always be sure to rely on official government/reputable websites for information:
Phishers—cybercriminals who trick people into providing passwords or personal information—seize opportunities like vaccination campaigns to send fraudulent email or other types of messages.
Vigilance is key to stopping phishing. Beware of messages that ask you to provide passwords, account numbers, etc., or direct you to unfamiliar websites. Don’t open email attachments unless you’re confident they are from someone you know.
Trust your instincts—if an email looks suspicious in any way, delete it. Learn more about phishing and see real examples of phishing attacks.
Recognize robo calls or text messages
Be suspicious about any unexpected calls or text messages regarding COVID-19 tests, supplies, or information. Do not respond, or open hyperlinks in, text messages about COVID-19 from unknown individuals.
Reputable resource on robo calls and text messages:
Fraud Alert: COVID-19 SCAMS, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (hhs.gov)
Don’t share your vaccine card on social media
By sharing your vaccination card on social media, you are sharing your full name, birthday, and where you received your vaccine with scammers who can steal your identity or even create fake vaccination cards. Be careful how you share news of your inoculation with the rest of the world. Instead, share a different photo or set a frame around your profile picture.
Reputable resource on vaccine cards and social media:
Better Business Bureau Tip: Don’t share your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media
Beware of contact tracing scammers
Be prepared to know the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. Real contact tracers ask for health information and do not need money or personal financial information. If you encounter a similar situation, remove yourself from the conversation.
Reputable resource on contact tracing scammers:
Help COVID-19 contact tracers, not scammers, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information
Be wary of ads for test kits
Watch out for non-FDA-approved COVID-19 test kits. Many at-home kits are not accurate and don’t provide the accurate and rapid results you are seeking.
Identify fake emails
Be careful of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO).
REPUTABLE RESOURCES FOR CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION:
Do your homework when donating
When donating to a cause, you want your donation to count. Do research before committing and never donate cash, gift cards, or wire money.
Reputable resource on donations
How to donate wisely and avoid charity scams, FTC Consumer Information
Have you noticed a fraud attempt related to COVID-19?
If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online or call 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).
More resources on scams
FCC: Coronavirus Scams—Consumer Resources, Federal Communications Commission
AARP: Beware Robocalls, Texts, and Emails promising COVID-19 cures or stimulus payments
Federal Trade Commission: Help COVID-19 contact tracers, not scammers