COVID-19 Pandemic Related Schemes

Authored By: Rose Samuel on 11/10/2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Related Schemes

While the world is struggling to make its way through the current pandemic, fraudsters are in overdrive taking advantage of the need for financial assistance. They are making contact with past fraud victims and the vulnerable in hopes of stealing your money. To do so, they are falsifying information within the Unemployment Benefit Program, Economic Impact Payments, COVID-19 Treatment Claims, and now the Small Business Administration Disaster loans to make fraudulent claims at your expense.

If you or someone you know is in contact with someone asking for financial information to assist you during this hard time, do not share this information! Instead, ask for cash or a check if they insist on helping. If you do receive a check for COVID-19 related assistance, we ask that you disclose the full story with the Credit Union so we can act appropriately to ensure you will not endure a loss.

COVID-19 Related Red Flags

  • Being contacted from someone representing one of the following:
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Being contacted by phone, email or text to verify personal information
  • Being asked to send payment in order to receive Economic Impact Payments
  • Requests for personal and financial information to assist in contact tracing efforts
  • An online relationship with requests for your financial information
  • Someone asking for money to be wired to assist with medical or family emergencies
  • Immediate instructions on how to spend funds received from a friend

Other Red Flag Examples:

Example 1: Scammer calls claiming to be a contact tracer for COVID-19 and states someone you have been in contact with has tested positive. To receive more information, they will request your SSN, bank account number, and/or payment for their services.

Example 2: Scammer develops a relationship with communication via email, text and phone calls. Scammer will then offer financial assistance in return of a portion being wired to their account elsewhere. They disclose that they own a business and need help paying their employees, and to do so you will need to wire $15,000 to their account in New York.

You don’t have to be a victim! Remember these warning signs and share them with others. To report a scam, please visit the Federal Trade Commission Complaint Assistant to submit a complaint for further investigation. We also ask that you let us at MFCU know so we can help monitor your account activity and alert you of something out of the norm.

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