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UMe’s Guide to Financial Security: Covid Scams

Fraudsters are taking advantage of the current pandemic and attempting to get into peoples’ pockets — but we want to make sure U stay as safe and informed as possible! Here are some everyday best practices to keep your money secure during these pandemic times.

  • Keep the personal information on your Vaccine Card covered or blurred out in photos. If you’re posting pics with your proof of vaccination on social media, you could be sharing your name and birthdate with scammers.
  • Do not pay to get a COVID-19 vaccine. If someone is asking you to pay to get the vaccine, they are scamming you. The vaccine is free and only available at federal and state approved locations.
  • Do your research when donating funds to charities. Lately, usa.gov has reported an increased amount of imposters that claim to be from various charities. If you are asked to donate via a solicitation phone call or spam email, don’t do it. Instead, do some research and give directly from the charity’s website. Scammers will try to rush you into making a donation, usually with cash, by gift card, or by wiring money — but, don’t do it. Before clicking on a link to donate online, make sure you know who is receiving your donation. Some fraudsters use names that sound a lot like the names of real charities. This is one reason it pays to do research before giving.
  • Always Remember: The government will never call, text, email, or contact you on social media and ask for your Social Security, bank account or credit card number. Scammers have been targeting people claiming to be from a government agency and asking for personal information. Anyone who contacts you out of the blue and claims to be a federal employee or from FEMA is a scammer. Do not give that information out.

So, what do you do if you come across one of these scams? First thing’s first, do not engage in any request or continue on with any conversation that sounds suspicious, especially if they ask for personal or financial information. If something seems a bit “off” you can always refer to resources like usa.gov or the Federal Trade Commission website as helpful resources. They constantly update their sites with the latest scam news. If you’re still a little unsure, give us a call and one of our team members can help you make the right move. The second thing you can do is report the suspicious activity on the FBI’s website. It’s easy and will help keep the bad guys from doing more harm to others.

We hope these COVID scams don’t come your way, but if they do, we hope this article gives you some helpful insights into keeping the bad guys out of your wallet. Tune into our next Guide to Financial Security article where we will dive into the world of social media scams. Stay safe, UMe-verse!