The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a warning this week for Vermonters to be wary of scammers targeting people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“These criminals often pretend to be in the government, contacting people by robocall, text message, email or social media,” FEMA stated in a news release. “They offer financial help for money or personal information, such as Social Security bank account or credit card numbers — but their real goal is to make money from, or steal the identify of, their victims.”
Federal agencies like FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control never charge for disaster assistance. Also, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, advises FEMA.
The disaster relief agency set up a website, called Coronavirus Rumor Control, as a source for accurate information related to COVID-19. The website includes links to other sources of information, including the Federal Trade Commission, which advises that scammers follow the headlines, “so it’s not surprising that we’ve seen so many Coronavirus-related scams recently.”
“From scammers selling fake COVID-19 cures and treatments to people posing as government officials offering Coronavirus stimulus checks — nothing seems to be off-limit,” the FTC says.
The FTC’s No. 1 tip for avoiding coronavirus scams?
“Hang up on robocalls.”
Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Sign up today for a digital subscription.
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