News of the Covid vaccine has brought hope to many people, but for others, they see opportunities for fraud. Concerns over phishing have been raised according to a Local Profile article published on December 21. In it they say:
“ The FTC and FBI warn that fraudsters could try to convince people to pay for early access to the vaccine. They could also try to charge for the vaccine itself. To protect yourself against fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office recommends that you always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or home visits that ask for payment information in order to receive a vaccine. ‘No one from a vaccine distribution site will ask for your credit card or banking information,’ Cox wrote. ‘If you want to verify whether COVID-19 related solicitations or treatments are legitimate, call your health provider.’ ”
A few weeks earlier, on December 3rd, the Dallas Morning News published an article about millions in Covid bailout money being swindled in North Texas. In it they say:
“The goodfellas would be proud. It’s probably one of the biggest heists in American history. I’m referring to billions of dollars doled out this year in Small Business Administration government loans to businesses and individuals to offset COVID-19-related shutdowns. I’m not talking about the honest recipients. This is about billions stolen by crooks in identity theft scams, and also money given to companies that didn’t deserve it or, when they got it, misspent it. You’re watching this in real time, right before your eyes.
And it’s about to happen again as more money may be distributed. The Watchdog heard from North Texans who’ve been victimized by these loans. I’ve heard how others took money in their name. I’ll show you how the scam works, how you can prevent it — and what to do if it happens to you.”
So during these times when people are taking advantage of other people’s fears and desperation, keeping your personal information to yourself and staying vigilant can keep you out of trouble.