3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - Through emails, text messages and phone calls, scammers are targeting their victims and they're using the COVID-19 pandemic to get the job done. It's unknown how many people have been swindled, but 3 On Your Side doesn't want you to be the next victim.
So, first up, be aware of the Coronavirus Test Kit Scam. It works when a scammer calls you. A recent audio clip released by the Federal Communications Commission shows how the scam works.
“The Coronavirus Response Act has made coronavirus testing more accessible immediately,” the scammer says. “If you want to receive a free testing kit delivered overnight to your home, press 1. If you do not want your free testing, press 2."
Due to the shortage of test kits, the scammer hopes you'll call back and pay for something that really doesn't exist.
Then, there's Social Security Scam that targets senior citizens.
“Hello, this is a call from the Social Security Administration,” the scammer says. “During these difficult times of the coronavirus, we regret to inform you that we have got an order to suspend your Social Security immediately within 24 hours due to suspicious and fraudulent activities found on your account."
Victims who call back provide personal information and risk having their identity stolen.
And in regard to the $2 trillion stimulus package lawmakers passed, your check is expected to be direct deposited into your bank account within the next few weeks.
Keep in mind that no one will call or text you to verify your personal information or your bank account information. If you do get a call, it's a scam. Remember, these scammers are preying on your fears. But if you stay informed and stay alert, you'll avoid becoming a victim.