Protect yourself from coronavirus scams

It’s a painful reality that some scammers are taking advantage of fear and distraction while the coronavirus pandemic is occurring. In particular, there has been an uptick in fraudsters tricking people by using phone numbers that look like they are coming from a trusted, legitimate source and then asking the people they’ve called from that bogus number to provide personal information over the phone.

Please be aware that Think Bank and other reputable companies would never call any customer or non-customer unsolicited and ask them to provide personal, confidential information - such as a Think Online username and password, a social security number, or a date of birth - over the phone.

Here are six other timely tips for keeping your money and personal, confidential information safe from coronavirus-related scammers.

  1. Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  2. Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent coronavirus — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the coronavirus.
  3. Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. Most people have read the news about coronavirus relief checks that many Americans will receive. As long as you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, you don’t need to do anything to receive it, so do not give anyone your personal information to “sign up” for your relief check. No one has early access to this money, so anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
  4. Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  5. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  6. Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
Source: Federal Trade Commission