Letter: Avoid becoming victims of COVID-19 scams | Opinion Letters | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

The Covid pandemic of 2020 has brought about a number of challenges and concerns related to our health, financial stability, ability to socially interact, and more. Unfortunately, as they always do, criminals have found a way to exploit this situation and prey on people that may fall victim to a scam. With the heightened anxiety and fear that this health situation has caused for many, scammers can easily obtain financial or personal information, and in some cases a victim’s money, by pretending they are working to protect a person’s health and well-being. By understanding how these con artists operate in advance, and sharing this information with others, we can all avoid becoming victims.

Local and state health agencies currently employ contact tracers to investigate potential exposure to someone that has a confirmed case of Covid-19. Legitimate tracers will contact you by telephone to advise you of the potential exposure, investigate the incident, and give you further guidance. They will not ask you for money, gift cards, or wire transfers. Scammers might try to make you believe that they need compensation for their work, for test kits, or other supplies. They may also try to obtain your bank account information, social security numbers, or other personal information that can give them access to your finances or credit. Never share information with anyone that you have not verified that they are who they say they are.

We can stop these criminals in their tracks by knowing how to identify these scams. I hope that you will help me share this information with others, especially with the elderly, as scammers intentionally target them in many cases. If you need additional information, or would like to reach me about any topic related to your sheriff’s office, you can email me at Sheriff@cayugacounty.us or call me at (315) 253-4337.

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