How Has the Current Pandemic Increased the Number of Scams?

How Has the Current Pandemic Increased the Number of Scams?

January 22, 2021

As if the COVID-19 pandemic weren’t enough on its own, predatory scammers are doing their best to take advantage of Americans. Pandemic scams are on the rise in Lubbock, TX, and Texans would be wise to protect themselves as much as possible. Scammers often prey upon the gullible and desperate, making it entirely likely that a person might lose savings and income to fraud.

Here’s what you need to know about the rise of scams during the pandemic.

Fake “cures” and virus-related products

As the vaccine slowly rolls out, scammers have a new way to bilk people. Previously, they focused on fake remedies and virus-related products, supposedly designed to boost your immune system and protect you from the virus. According to the AARP, “Teas, essential oils, cannabinol, colloidal silver and intravenous vitamin-C therapies are among supposed antiviral treatments hawked in clinics and on websites, social media and television shows as defenses against the pandemic.”

Masks, test kits, fake antibody tests and other in-demand COVID-19 products are hawked, usually to scam people out of sensitive personal information. Do not give your personal or banking information to people who cold-call or email you offering these items. Buy masks from reputable retailers, and get tested for the virus and antibodies through known and trusted health practitioners.

Insurance, stimulus, loan and unemployment fraud

Since many people are out of jobs and desperately in need of unemployment or stimulus checks, scammers have been trying to exploit their need. Watch out for people who claim to be able to get your stimulus check faster, or front you the money for unemployment benefits. You need to work with your state unemployment office to receive benefits, and with many states canceling or limiting theirs, there may be no appropriate recourse at this time.

Beware of people offering loans or increased health and life insurance. If you want to change your health insurance or increase your life insurance amount, go through your provider or proactively call a new insurance company. Never give your personal information over the phone or email, especially if you can’t verify that the person is actually an employee of the company they claim to represent.

Phishing and cyber fraud

Finally, phishing and cyber fraud are on the rise as well. Watch out for common scams where phishers—that is, people who try to get you to give them sensitive details like bank account information over the phone or internet—pose as employees of a legitimate business. Be especially wary of people who contact you unexpectedly. Get their name and contact information, hang up and verify that they’re actually from the company before you give out any sort of personal information. If you didn’t request a call, feel free to ignore them completely.

Staying on top of pandemic scams in Lubbock, TX and approaching “too good to be true” deals with healthy skepticism will protect you from predatory scammers.

To talk to a qualified and knowledgeable attorney, reach out to The Law Office of Rob Biggers today.

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