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Don’t Fall for Coronavirus Scams

This article has been updated on 03-30-2020.

At UMe, we want to keep our members informed, healthy and safe during these trying times. That’s why we’re sharing an update from The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about some recent financial scams that are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. The FTC reports that companies are trying to sell treatments for the Coronavirus without any evidence to support their claims of treatment and/or prevention.

In a post on their website, the federal organization outlines the suspicious ways in which these companies will try to scam you into buying their fake treatments.

Read how to avoid Coronavirus scams.

  • NEVER provide your personal information or work information over the phone, unless you’re the one who initiated the call.
  • Nowadays, scammers can spoof any number they’d like in their efforts to confuse you. Don’t trust a number just because the area code looks familiar. Just because your caller ID shows a familiar number, doesn’t mean the caller is who they claim to be.
  • If you receive this type of call, hang up and report the call to a member of law enforcement or to the appropriate member of your organization.

In the midst of everything going on in 2020, we are in the middle of Census season, which is perfect timing for scammers to be on the prowl. Scammers might send emails or other messages that appear to come from the U.S. Census Bureau. Keep these tips in mind to keep your information safe during this Census season:

  • If you receive an email to complete a 2020 Census survey, do not open it. Delete it. The Census Bureau will only send official survey requests through the mail.
  • If a Census Bureau worker comes to your home — which can very well happen if your survey response is late — please take the appropriate precautions. Ask to see a valid ID badge, which will have the worker’s photo, U.S. department of commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
  • The Census Bureau will NEVER ask for your social security number, bank account or credit card info, or donations of any kind.

With all that’s going on, we want to share some helpful tips for keeping you and your personal information safe. We hope these tips come in handy if you encounter a scammer. We will be updating this post as we receive information about new scams that are out there. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call, we’re here to help!

Stay healthy and be safe, UMe-verse!

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