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Home > Security & Privacy > Scammers Are Capitalizing on The Coronavirus Outbreak

UPDATE 5.19.20: Unemployment Scam Capitalizing on The Coronavirus Outbreak

Lynnwood Police Commander, Sean Doty, shared valuable information in the online publication Lynnwood Today. In this article he provides steps on how to handle this fraud scenario should you receive a suspicious letter from Washington State Unemployment in the mail. Go to "Was your identity stolen for unemployment benefits?" 


Other Scams Capitalizing on The Coronavirus

In an effort to help members remain wary of ongoing fraud and scam schemes taking advantage of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, SnoCope is providing these valuable links we found on the Northwest Credit Union Association website. The content is collected from WA, OR and ID resources but the lessons learned are valuable for everyone.

Members are encouraged to dive deep on these articles. The content will empower you to recognize the ongoing social and emotional manipulation being used by these criminals to their dubious advantage. As their criminal sophistication increases, we need to be even more proactive in protecting ourselves by being aware of the scams, fraud, fake texts, fake phone calls etc. pushed to our mobile devices, or the bogus websites we might inadvertently get ourselves into, and the ongoing barrage of phishing finding us as we browse on our computers. Even letters in the mail now require your scrutiny.

Following are summary snippets, click the links for more info:

Want to get your Coronavirus relief check? Scammers do too. 4.1.20

You’ve probably heard the news by now – the government is sending out relief checks as part of the federal response to the Coronavirus. Scammers heard the same thing, and they’re hoping to cash in on yours... 1. You don’t need to do anything. As long as you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, the federal government likely has the information it needs to send you your money. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return also do not need to do anything to receive their money. If you otherwise have not filed taxes recently, you may need to submit a simple tax return to get your check.... Do not give anyone your personal information to “sign-up” for your relief check. There is nothing to sign up for. Anyone calling to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information is a scammer... Read more...

Oregon Department of Justice’s steps on avoiding a coronavirus scam 3.20.20

...They also may be offering advice on unproven treatments, they may contain malicious email attachments (Remember, do not click!), and they may want you to send money to victims. Don’t fall for these scams! Some businesses trying to make a quick buck off of the crisis are inflating prices for essential consumer goods. Read more…   

Federal Trade Commission’s guidance on avoiding scammers during coronavirus 2.10.20

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’re setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal information. The emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, and fake information about cases in your neighborhood. They also may be asking you to donate to victims, offering advice on unproven treatments, or contain malicious email attachments. Read more…

Federal Bureau of Investigation Reports Rise in Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus Pandemic 3.23.20

Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits. The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following: Fake CDC Emails, Phishing Emails, Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment. Read more…

Oregon Department of Justice Shares Security Tips for Telecommuters During the COVID-19 Outbreak 3.23.20

… While working from home can – and hopefully will – help slow the spread of the coronavirus, it brings new challenges: juggling work while kids are home from school; learning new software and collaboration programs; and managing paper files at home. As you’re getting your work-at-home systems set up, here are some tips for protecting your devices and personal information. Start with cybersecurity basics like Do Not Click! Keep your security software up to date. Use passwords on all your devices and apps. Make sure the passwords are long, strong and unique: at least 12 characters that are a mix of numbers, symbols and capital and lowercase letters. Read more…

Social Security Administration Warns About Benefit Suspension Scam 3.25.20

The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirus-related office closures. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed. The Social Security Office of the Inspector General has received reports that Social Security beneficiaries have received letters through the U.S. Mail stating their payments will be suspended or discontinued unless they call a phone number referenced in the letter. Scammers may then mislead beneficiaries into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain regular benefit payments during this period of COVID-19 office closures. Read more...

We hope these snippits and the articles from which they have been taken will help raise your security awareness during these unprecedented times. You can find even more information on the Security and Privacy page on the SnoCope website. Click here…

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