Coronavirus: Avoid getting scammed
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As many are reeling from impacts of the coronavirus, scammers are ready to take advantage of the situation. We want to take care of your emotional and financial well-being by avoiding common scams.
Read how to protect yourself from:
- Fake websites and emails
- Phony job listings
- Misinformation and rumors
Fake websites and emails
Scammers will often create fake websites with lookalike web addresses or send emails that look legitimate. These websites collect your personal information while tricking you into thinking you are subscribing to coronavirus updates.
During these unprecedented times, fraudulent e-commerce vendors are promoting the sales of high demand items, such as:
- Protective face masks
- Test kits
They are collecting credit card information without shipping these items. If you believe you have been a victim of a scam like this, call our Member Service Center at 800.433.1837.
With many clamoring for new developments with the coronavirus, be wary of unsolicited messages getting you to click on a link, watch a video, or give personal information. If you’ve received an email, instant message, or social media post from unknown senders, this could be a phishing scam.
Don’t get hooked! Ignore any suspicious links, "urgent” videos, or even unsubscribes which could trick you into entering a valid email address to their database. Instead, add it to your own spam filter or mark the email as junk, so future attempts will be ignored.
The best way to avoid falling victim is to not engage – scammers can be very persuasive.
Spoofing is the act of disguising a communication from an unknown source as being from a known, trusted source. Spoofing can be done through email, phone, and websites.
During these uncertain times, scammers are posing as government and health organizations to contact individuals by email, asking them to visit a “protected site” – in order to learn their personal information.
Use legitimate government organizations to check your facts and learn about coronavirus related scams:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Phony job listings
Scammers are posting phony job listings to take advantage of people who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. These job listings are trying to recruit individuals as money mules – people who are tricked into money laundering schemes.
Scammers are often posing as coronavirus relief charities. They will ask applicants to process donations into their own accounts and transfer funds into the fake nonprofit’s account. This is all done before your bank can alert you that the check or deposit is fraudulent, leaving you with less than you started with. Giving personal information to strangers may lead to identity theft and lost income.
Examples of personal information include:
- Account number
- Credit or debit card number
- Social Security number
Misinformation and rumors
It isn’t unusual in times like this that misinformation and rumors are spread. Sometimes by well-meaning people as well as scammers. Before you pass information around, fact check!
All medical advice and treatment should come from a medical professional. False medical cures are a trick to collect your personal information and medical details – this information can be used to commit medical identity theft.
To find information related to the coronavirus.
What to do if you are a victim of a scam
Don’t panic. Scammers are relying on you to make hasty decisions. You’ll be better able to avoid their traps if you don’t rush.
Change your passwords
- First change the password to any account or machine the scammer has or could access.
- Change the passwords on any account that you were logged into on your machine
- Change the passwords for any accounts that use the same or similar login credentials.
Protect your computer, click carefully, and guard personal data. Ensure that anti-virus software, security patches and firewalls are installed, active, and up-to-date.
Numerica continuously monitors our members’ debit and credit cards for fraudulent activity. Fraud Text Alerts is a free service for our members. If our fraud monitoring service detects a suspicious transaction on your account, we will alert you via SMS/text message of the transaction. Unless you have just activated a new product or service. Our Fraud Prevention Team may ask you to verify yourself with some personal information, like your address. However, they should never be asking for your partial or full card number. This is information they already have. If you ever feel uncomfortable, immediately hang up and call Numerica or the phone number on the back of your card.
If you receive a suspicious email, text or phone call, do not give out any information and immediately call the Numerica Member Service Center at 800.433.1837.
We understand that a situation like this creates stress and anxiety about the safety of your account information. If you have further questions about this or any other correspondence that looks suspicious, call us at 800.433.1837.