Don’t Be a Scam Victim
While there are legitimate financial relief programs, there are also scammers who are using this as an opportunity take advantage of individuals and small businesses. It’s critical to go straight to the source for accurate information about what’s happening. In addition, here are more tips to help you avoid scams:
- Scammers often mimic the look and feel of legitimate email.You’ve heard warnings for years about email phishing attempts. Fraudsters have upped their game in response. They’ve been known to copy logos of financial institutions and government agencies, including the SBA, and use wording that sounds familiar. They also manipulate email addresses so that a message looks to be from a legitimate source – but isn’t. That’s why it’s dangerous to respond to those emails.
- Don’t click on links.Say you get an email that says it’s from your bank or a government agency. Don’t click on any links. It could load malware onto your computer. If you think you may need to respond, pick up the phone and call the office directly, but don’t use a number listed in the email. That could be fake, too. Instead, search online for a genuine telephone number or call your banker using the number you’ve always used. Yes, now is a good time to keep in close contact with your financial institution, but employ the same established lines of communication you used before COVID-19 became a concern.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls. Some scammers may try the personal approach by calling you and impersonating someone from a financial institution or government agency. Don’t engage in conversation. If you think you may need to respond, call using a number you know is legit.
- Alert others to Coronavirus relief check scams.Most people have read the news about Coronavirus relief checks that many Americans may receive. The FTC Consumer Blog has advice about spotting relief check scams. Share the tips with your co-workers, family, and social networks. If you spot a potential Coronavirus-related scam, report it to the FTC at gov/complaint.
Links to other resources
Prepare for the Unexpected:
Taking care of your family and loved ones is important to us. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for any unexpected crisis:
- Arrange to receive pay or automatic benefit payments through direct deposit.
- Use online or mobile banking to stay up to date on your accounts, make bill payments and more.
- Determine your emergency plan to have quick access to cash, like your savings, line of credit, debit/credit cards, etc.
- Consider keeping a several week supply of food, toiletries, medicines, and other essentials on hand – here’s a list.
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