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Scammers are using COVID-19 messages to scam people

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Scammers are experts at shifting tactics and changing their messages to catch you off guard. This is especially true as they take advantage of anxieties related to the Coronavirus. Here’s a quick alert about some current government imposter scams using COVID-19 that are popping up on our radar.

Medicare scams

Scammers might call to offer things like a “COVID-19 kit,” “Coronavirus package,” or Medicare benefits related to the virus. But they’ll ask you to verify personal information like your bank account, Social Security, or Medicare numbers. If you get a call from someone who says they’re a Medicare representative and they ask for this information, hang up. It’s a scam, not Medicare calling. Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint

To hear what one scammy Medicare call sounds like, listen to this:

Medicare Scams sound like this

Relief payment messages from “government agencies”

The FTC is getting a lot of reports about fraudulent calls, texts, and emails coming from people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration, IRS, Census, USCIS and the FDIC. These fake government messages might say that you’re approved for money, can get quick relief payments, or get cash grants due to the Coronavirus. Scammers might also promise you small business loans, or send a (phishing) alert that a check is ready to be picked up. These are all scams, and none of those messages come from a government agency.

If you respond to these calls or messages, they might ask you for money, personal information, or both. Don’t give it. And remember that the surest sign of a scam is anyone who asks you to send cash, pay with a gift card, wire money, or pay with cryptocurrency.

Stay on top of all types of imposter scams by visiting ftc.gov/imposters, and sign up for the FTC’s Consumer Alerts to get the latest on all kinds of scams.

Comments

Good afternoon

I am Colombian and I reside in Colombia, a few weeks ago I was contacted by email for having a LINKEDIN ​​account, notifying me by MICROSOFT CORPORATION and the MICROSOFT FOUNDATION, where they told me that I had been one of the winners or beneficiaries of a sum of $ 168,214.00 US dollars as aid funds by COVID19, which will send certain bank account details for said transfer. After presenting these data, I have been informed that the United States IRS has blocked the transfer, which supposedly went to 90% of the transfer, for the non-payment of a certain tax for not being a resident or US citizen, for which I should pay the sum of $ 1,682.14 dollars, and as I have informed the people who write to me posing as entrepreneurs of MICROSOFT CORPORATION and the MICROSOFT FOUNDATION, who do not have those resources, they notified me that in that case for non-payment, said aid funds by COVID19 raffled by the MICROSOFT FOUNDATION will be given to local charities.

It seems to me the limit that they use the private accounts of LINKEDIN ​​for such acts of scam, and even worse to use the name of the renowned and very prestigious MICROSFOT CORPORATION COMPANY and said FOUNDATION, to defraud citizens not only Americans but foreigners.

I appreciate the publication of this message, so that other people do not fall for this type of scam.

Thank you.

I have received 2 emails in the last day, that were scams trying to get your personal information, by claiming to be related to the COVID-19 situation. Is there a place that we should be contacting or forwarding these scams to?

Yes, please report those to www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

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