Common COVID-19-Related Scams
Covid-19 is a world-wide emergency like we’ve never seen. Scammers are coming out of the dark using fear and false hope to get your money or information.
Home test kits!
Your Social Security number is about to be revoked!
Your loved one is in trouble!
- Scammers ask for your bank account and routing number to “help” you get your relief money.
- Scammers send fake emails that look real but are really just stealing your personal information or if you click on a link, puts malware on your computer, tablet or phone.
- Scammers call (and call and call) using illegal robocalls to pitch the latest fraud.
- Scammers use text messages and social media to get your information and your money.
Our senior community is particularly vulnerable to victimization. If you or a loved one receives information or requests that seem suspicious, take time to examine the request before you act.
Here are some ways to protect yourself and those you love from scammers:
- Don’t be rushed. Whatever the call, email, text, or social media post is about, remember that scammers try to rush you. Legit people don’t.
- Check it out. Before you act on something or share it – stop. Do some research. Do the facts back up the story?
- Pass it on. If you get offered something great, or you’re worried about something alarming: talk to someone you trust before you act. What do they think?
- Avoid online offers for coronavirus-related vaccines or cures; they aren't legitimate.
- Do not click on links or download files from unexpected emails, even if the email address looks like a company or person you recognize. Ditto for text messages and unfamiliar websites.
- Do not share personal information such as Social Security, Medicare and credit card numbers in response to an unsolicited call, text or email.
- Be wary of fundraising calls or emails seeking money for coronavirus victims or disease research, especially if they pressure you to act fast and request payment by prepaid debit cards or gift cards.
- Ignore phone calls or emails from strangers urging you to invest in a hot new coronavirus stock.
What to do if you are a victim?
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, please contact the Fremont Police Department at 510-790-6800. You can file a police report online and can find answers to many fraud/scam-related questions here.
If you need to reach Legal Assistance for Seniors, please call 510-832-3040 and leave a message or visit their website.
If you would like to schedule a phone counseling appointment with HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program), please call 510-893-0393 or visit their website. Please be patient, there may be delays in response time.
Just like you wash your hands and use social distancing to stay safe during this unprecedented time, keep your eyes open to potential scams and don’t be a victim. The more you know, the more you can help yourself or someone you love.