During this critical time, scammers are finding new ways to take advantage of innocent people. They claim to be government officials, healthcare professionals, or legitimate companies providing real products or services to take your money and personal information. Valuable data includes your Social Security number, financial/bank account information, Medicare number, and online login IDs/passwords. So how can you protect yourself and your information?
Know how scammers can reach you
Scammers target people via the following:
- Phone calls, ex-Robocalls
- Social media
- Email and text messages
- In-person interactions
Be aware of common scams
- Selling fake products: Scammers may try to sell certain medical or cleaning products, such as masks, testing kits, and hand sanitizers. These products are either fake or will never be delivered to you. Be sure to research unfamiliar sellers and companies.
- False causes and charities: Scammers create fake charities or causes that may seem legitimate. They might use false names or say your loved one has contracted COVID-19 and needs you to send money. To visit the Ohio Attorney General’s website to view a list of registered charities, click here.
- Financial relief scams: Scammers promise quick financial aid/direct deposit payments or say your Social Security check has been cancelled, then ask for personal data to verify. Do not share this information.
- Fake text and email messages: Scammers send text and email messages that pressure you to act fast and click an unverified link. Often, the links go to fake websites that install malware/viruses on your computer to steal your personal information. When in doubt, do not click on unfamiliar links or download suspicious content.
Watch out for red flags
Red flags include:
- Words that have a sense of urgency, ex- “act now” or are misspelled.
- Requests for private information, such as your Social Security number or bank account information.
- Emails from personal accounts, ex- Yahoo.
- Unknown/unverified phone numbers, websites, or apps.
Access Ohio’s trusted resources
The following resources can provide additional information and assistance: