COVID-19 Fraud – Ways to Identify and Prevent Fraud

Back To Articles COVID-19 Scam and Fraud Prevention
The pandemic is dangerous enough. From all of us at Preferred Mutual, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

Unfortunately, in times of crisis, scammers may attempt to take advantage of you! The following tips are meant to help you stay vigilant against fraud.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a public service announcement warning that the agency was seeing a rise in fraud schemes related to COVID-19 on March 20, 2020. Leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both is a top priority for scammers.

Here are a few reminders to help you stay vigilant against fraud.

  • Scammers may attempt to sell fake cures, vaccines and advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19. Beware of those selling items currently in high demand, such as surgical masks, too.
  • Pay attention to all updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO); these organizations have the most up-to-date and accurate facts regarding this pandemic.
  • Verify all information when receiving a call from doctors and hospitals. Scammers may attempt to appear as individuals who have treated a friend or relative for COVID-19, and demand payment for that treatment or payment in advance of a vaccine for you.
  • Fraudsters could also solicit donations for those affected by COVID-19. Do not make any unverified donations.
  • During this pandemic, scammers may claim they are from the CDC and WHO asking for private information such as your social security number, usernames, passwords, or your account numbers. 
  • Your bank will likely never send communications on behalf of the CDC or WHO requesting information or asking you to download potentially harmful applications.
  • Your bank will never ask for any confidential information via non-secure email. 
  • If you receive an email from your bank and are unsure of its legitimacy, contact your institution immediately. 
  • Beware of phone calls, suspicious emails, texts, or websites that may look or sound legitimate, but are not from a trusted source. 
  • If in doubt about who has contacted you, do not provide any requested information before verifying their identity.
  • If you believe you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud or attempted fraud, you can report it without leaving your home through a number of platforms: 
  • Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at disaster@leo.gov
  • Report it to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov  
  • If it's a cyber scam, submit your complaint through https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx 

Remain vigilant in detecting and protecting yourself from fraud during this time! The pandemic is dangerous enough. From all of us at Preferred Mutual, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. #AloneTogether.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice and/or an authoritative guide.

Did you know that your Internet browser is out of date?

Your browser is out of date and may not be compatible with our website.
A list of the most popular web browsers can be downloaded from below.

Close This Window

By closing this window you acknowledge that your experience on this website may be degraded.