As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, fraudsters are taking advantage of consumers and their fears, attempting to obtain personal information or money. To minimize fraud and deter scammers, watch out for the following phishing scams and impersonators:
Economic impact payments – With news that Americans are receiving their Economic Impact Payments this month, scammers are taking advantage and sending out texts and emails claiming that they have more information on your payment. Scammers will ask you to sign over your economic impact payment check to them or verify personal information via phone, email, text or social media to receive or speed up payment.
Public health officials – Scammers have been posing as public health or government officials, calling or emailing to request money for COVID-19 research. Avoid giving out your credit card number or any personal identifying information.
Fake charity employees – With many charities asking for donations to support coronavirus relief, fraudsters are taking advantage and posing as a charity worker at a fake charity, asking you for a donation.
Grandparents or family members - In grandparent scams, scammers pose as panicked grandchildren in trouble or sick, calling or sending messages urging you to wire money immediately.
Protect yourself and your family
If you’re not comfortable or unfamiliar with an email, text, or phone call, the best thing to do is delete the email or text, or hang up the phone. Below are additional recommendations:
Don’t provide any personal information – no matter how desperate the situation may seem
Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. Call the real phone number of a family member or friend. Verify the story with someone else in your family or friends.
Don’t send cash, gift cards, or money transfers.
Don’t click on strange links or download files from an unexpected email, even if the email address comes from a person you’re familiar with
When looking up information on COVID-19, be aware that official government websites use “.gov” or “.org” at the end of their website address, not “.com”
Only visit known, trusted websites that you normally visit when searching about coronavirus or other information
Webster is here for you
Especially at this time, it is important to keep your information security top of mind. Remember, Webster Bank will never call you and ask for your PIN or social security number, so be on the lookout for unsolicited calls or emails from people who claim that they are from Webster Bank.
The opinions and views in this blog post are those of the authors, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All loans are subject to the normal credit approval process.
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