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Coronavirus scams increase in SWFL; here’s how to protect yourself

During this difficult time, there’s a warning for you as scammers are reaching out more and more, trying to get at your money.

The Better Business Bureau put together some of the top scams out there. Some are new scams, same old tactics, but always with the goal of separating you from your hard-earned savings.

Six ongoing scams include:

  • Phony cures and fake masks: there is no cure, and be careful of the mask you are buying;
  • Stimulus check scams: checks are coming but nobody can make them show up quicker – promising you your money quicker or overpayment-scams, don’t do it;
  • Phishing scams: they’re going to try and get you to click on a link in your email, don’t do it;
  • Government impersonation: the government is not going to be calling trying to gain access to your computer;
  • Employment scams: you don’t have to pay to get a job or pay for your own training;
  • Shortage scams: selling those hard to find items like hand sanitizer, they don’t actually have it or they are charging too much.

And these are even happening right here in Southwest Florida, and you can see that by clicking HERE for the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker.

An example of one recent Southwest Florida incident: on April 3, a victim lost $41 in a COVID-19 related scam after purchasing an N95 mask that never actually came.

So remember, in this time of stress and fear, the rules to protect yourself have not changed.

Don’t send gift cards, do not wire money, don’t open that email attachment, and if the phone call is suspicious, just hang up. Don’t give out your personal information.

Always report the attempted scams on the FBI’s IC3 site or call local law enforcement.

While you are staying at home, read up on better ways to protect yourself.

RESOURCES:

 

Reporter:Rich Kolko
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