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Avoiding Scams During the Pandemic

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We’re living through tough times. Millions of people around the world are being hugely negatively impacted by the outbreak and spread of coronavirus and Covid-19. People are falling ill. Medical staff and other key workers are under huge pressure. Those of us who can work remotely have left commercial premises and are working remotely. Those of us who can’t work remotely but are not key workers are finding ourselves out of work. We’re suffering loneliness, anxiety and stress. While this time has seen people groups of people band together, helping each other out. However, unfortunately, there are still individuals out there who are exploiting people’s vulnerability right now and are carrying out complex scams to commit identity theft and steal from people when, really, most of us need every penny we have right now. It’s absolutely essential that you avoid scams wherever possible. Here are a few you should look out for, as well as tips on how to protect yourself!

Common Scams

Perhaps the most common scam going on right now is email phishing, calls and other correspondence from scammers claiming to be from the government, government agencies or other government bodies requiring your information to process your stimulus check. When it comes to stimulus checks, only contact official bodies whose contact details have been verified. You should contact them. If someone contacts you saying they need urgent information, say you’ll call back. Find the official number and call that. If it was legitimate they’ll know what they were calling you for. If not, they’ll alert you that it wasn’t them who contacted you. You can also find information on stimulus checks, such as will retired seniors get a check, on reliable sites. Another common scam is people posing as WHO, encouraging you to click malicious links and attachments. Don’t click anything that comes through in an email claiming to the World Health Organization. They aren’t contacting citizens in this way.

Protecting Yourself

To protect yourself from scams right now, you need to be vigilant. Get your information from the news and official news sites. Following these steps to avoid scams should also help:

  • Most professional bodies will not ask you for any of your personal information in an email. So, it’s really important that you don’t share personal details, bank details, financial details, usernames, passwords or any other private information.
  • Don’t open email attachments that you aren’t expecting or haven’t requested to receive.
  • Don’t click links to sites you are unfamiliar with.
  • Always check email address before engaging with any email. It should be from a legitimate and verified address.
  • If it’s claimed that you’ve won a prize, grant, certificate or funding, you should check authenticity. It’s highly unlikely that you have actually won anything - especially if you haven’t entered any competitions.
  • Never make payments through an email link.

It really is important to protect yourself from scammers around this time. You don’t want an already difficult time to become more troubled. Hopefully, the above information should come in useful for you!

 

 

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