Coronavirus fraud: How to Prevent
April 9, 2020
As if the debilitating pandemic we are facing at the moment worldwide was not enough, now we have to take care of another fraud related to it.
Albeit the new “social disease” is not deadly, millions of dollars are falling in the wrong hands due to the new coronavirus fraud, responsible for more than 5% of all the scams happening during the past 5-6 weeks around the world.
What is it, how to recognize, and how to prevent it? I have all the information you need to know!
What is CoronaVirus fraud?
The covid-19 fraud is a new scheme the scammers are taking advantage, because of the fear and uncertainty that the world is going through. The fact that the virus has spread in most parts of the world is their advantage, as the field of potential targets is extensive.
You can be one of them.
Whether by trying to sell you fake virus medical kits, asking for donations to charities that don’t exist or to the other extreme, “virustortion” which is another way to “sextortion”, fraudsters are ready to have their best shots to take the money from your pocket. Let me explain more what I mean by that.
Coronavirus Fraud Examples
There are a vast amounts of coronavirus schemes that scammers are using to get to their preys, and below, are some of the most common and threatening that you should be aware of:
- Fake coronavirus charities – Hundreds of thousands of dollars are reported as lost to fraudsters who claim to be raising funds on corona virus emergencies such as support for healthcare workers, families of victims from the virus or to others who have lost their jobs to the same.
- Vaccinations and home test kits – Another way how a lot of people are losing money during the days of the uncertainty of the virus is by looking for help from anywhere they can get. Understandable enough that everyone wants help for their loved ones, yet, the only reliable sources are the ones from your country’s government official product.
- Counterfeit prevention – Numerous people are receiving emails saying they have the useful information you will need for the virus, claiming they work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC), with the truth to be far from that.
- Illegal robocalls – Scammers are using robocalls illegally to deceive their targets on any of the above tactics or even unreal work-at-home job opportunities.
- “Virustortion” – Various reports have arrived at federal trade commission in the United States solely, cited that they are being “threatened to have their families deliberately infected” by someone unknown. The scammer blackmails its prey if the first doesn’t comply with their request to offer them the money or services they are asking for.
The most affected from a Coronavirus Fraud
- Anyone – without exception can be a target of the scammers, which means that no one is safe, regardless their demographic.
- Children – However, one category who is slightly above the others is the young generations from 12 to 17 as most of them are spending more-than-usual time on the internet, as the schools’ closure due to corona virus.
How to Prevent a Coronavirus Fraud
Some of the best advice on how to avoid a corona virus fraud is to stay calm when an offer that needs you to “act fast” or asking from you something you are not sure if you should respond to. Let’s see some of the best recommendations for you to stay safe from the fraud surrounding corona virus:
- Education on fraud schemes – Educate your children as well as the rest of the family members on the ways they can get scammed only, especially during this time that a lot of fraud schemes are ready to knock at your online door at the slightest opportunity they see to do so.
- Ignore robocalls – As soon as you get a call from a “robocall” offering you corona virus treatment or even opportunities to work from home, ignore and hang up the call. Do not type any number they are asking you, as they intend to manipulate you to type some number which can transfer you to more robocalls, instead.
- Don’t respond to unknown contacts – It is highly recommended for you to not respond to any email or text that contacts you regarding any corona virus treatment, home test kits or any other offer that you are not completely sure of the one who is getting in touch with you.
- Check the information validity – In any offer you may receive, and the same is even with the well-meaning people, do your homework to see if the information, offer or the one who contacted you is valid or authorized. The same is true whether you are offered corona virus home test kits, vaccinations or any essential necessities.
- “Virustortion” prevention – Remain calm and pay extra caution to where you are stepping on, don’t rush on answering and not comply to requests of a stranger who is using blackmail as a bullet. In such instances, make sure you contact the agency in charge of online fraud protection of your respective country ( such as Action Fraud in the United Kingdom), or if the situation requires immediate attention, call the police.
By following these ways on how to avoid a corona virus fraud, you will be well on your way to saving your wallet, in time that you need most.
Meanwhile, I will update more on the corona virus fraud schemes on the following days, by making close research on their most advanced ways and making them simple for you.
However, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to send me an email or simply by leaving a comment below!