Scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic, preying on people when they are at their most stressed and vulnerable. Here are some things to look out for and resources to utilize:
Calls, emails or texts about government stimulus checks:
The IRS won’t contact you with information about a stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security number or bank account number. Anyone who does is a scammer “phishing” for your private information.
Online offers for vaccinations, test kits, masks or other protective equipment:
There are no products proven to treat or prevent the disease at this time and the only FDA-approved home test kit requires a doctor’s order. Be wary of unsolicited ads or emails selling masks and gloves. If purchasing protective equipment, make sure it’s from a reputable source.
Threats of immediate power disconnection or demands for payment:
If anyone calls, emails or visits your home or business regarding an outstanding payment and threatens to disconnect your power – it’s not us. You can confidently hang up the phone, delete the email or shut the door. Even if you’re having trouble paying bills right now, your power will not be shut off.
Requests for a deposit to exchange your utility meter:
If anyone claims you need to pay for a new meter to be installed because yours is about to expire – feel free to laugh.
See more ways to protect yourself, and hear a recording of a real call from a scammer. Share this information with your friends, family and neighbors – especially those that are elderly.
Click here for more information.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has put together some tools to help you detect scam emails, calls and texts and ensure charities are on the up-and-up.
If someone is claiming they have a cure or vaccine for COVID-19, they are lying to you. You should stick with the experts at the CT Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). AARP (www.aarp.org/coronavirus) and the Connecticut Attorney General's office are also great resources if you are worried about COVID-19 scams.