At HFCU, we are serious about our members, guest member’s and employee’s safety concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Federal, state and local government are working persistently to respond to the rapid growth of the public threat of COVID-19 while communities across the country are dealing with an increase in the number of reported cases. While necessary health tips and actions are being taken to reduce exposure. It is also important to watch out for scammers that are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. Scammers are setting up websites to sell fake products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a trick to take your money and gain your personal information.
Here are a few quick tips to help you avoid current scams:
- Don’t be fooled by contact tracing scams. Contact tracing plays a vital role in helping to stop the spread of Covid-19, but scammers pretending to be contact tracers are taking advantage by sending phishing text messages. The malicious text messages can include links that either download malware onto your device with one click or take you to a phishing page that tricks you into inputting personal data or a password. Click here to learn 5 things about contact tracing.
- Hang-up on phishing robo-callers. Scammers and scamming companies are using illegal robo-calls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus testing and treatments to work-at-home schemes, and even IRS impersonation in-order to profit from Coronavirus-related fears. If you receive scam calls like these, don’t believe them. Instead, hang up and report the robo-call at www.ftc.gov/complaint. To listen to known robo-call scam examples click here.
- Research online stores you are purchasing from. Online scammers may claim they have in-demand products, like household cleaners, and health or medical supplies. Before you place an order, be sure to research the seller or store by searching online for the company’s name, phone number and email address, plus words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” If everything checks out, pay by credit card and keep a record of your transaction.
- Do not click on links from unknown sources. Clicking on links from unknown sources may cause you to download a virus onto your computer or device. Be sure your anti-malware and anti-virus software are up to date on all of your personal devices.
- Be wary of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or experts claiming to have information about the Coronavirus. For the most accurate and up-to-date information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads promoting prevention, treatment, cures, or a medical breakthrough in regards to the Coronavirus, it would not be advertised as an ad or sales pitch.
- Do your research on charitable donations for relief efforts. Whether through charities or funding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. When you give to charitable donations, pay safely by credit card_—If donations are requested as cash, gift card, or by wiring money, it is a scam._
- Be cautious of investment opportunities. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are warning individuals about online promotions claiming products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure the Coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will intensely increase in value as a result.
These criminals want you to divulge sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords, to make purchases or donations on spoof websites, or to download malware onto your device by opening a malicious attachments. If you are unsure about a phone call, letter or e-mail you have received, the FTC offers information for all types of scams and can be accessed by clicking here.
When HFCU contacts you, we will never ask for confidential information such as your password, personal identification number (PIN), or social security number.
If you receive a suspicious email or text message, do not respond to the message, do not click on any links, and do not open any attachments—just delete the message. If you feel your account, username or password has been compromised, please contact HFCU at 243-0500 OR 687-4328. You can also report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP, 1-877-ID-THEFT, or online at www.ftc.gov.