As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact us all, phone scammers are taking the opportunity to prey on consumers. The FCC has received reports of scams, and are warning about hoax text message campaigns, phishing emails, and scam robocalls that offer free home testing kits, try to sell health insurance or hoax products and preying on virus-related fears. Hoax text messages may appear to be coming from someone you know or a “next-door neighbor.”
The Federal Trade Commission and US Food & Drug Administration have posted warnings to consumers about fake websites and emails that are used to promote bogus products and services.
The FCC offers several tips to help protect yourself from scams, including:
- Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers or those that appear suspicious.
- Never share your personal or financial information. Union Bank will never communicate with you by text, mail or email asking for your personal or financial information. If you receive a communication that appears to come from your bank, contact your bank directly to confirm it’s legitimacy. Do not use a number found in any text message, email or mailing to contact the bank. Rather, look up the number independently using your bank statement, the bank’s website or a number you previously saved elsewhere and validated.
- Be cautious if someone is trying to pressure you to share information or make a payment immediately.
- Scammers often spoof phone numbers to make them look like someone else or are a local number, in order to get you to answer. Government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money. If you are being pressured, ask for a case number or account number and then contact that agency by a separately validated phone number.
- Do not click on links in a text message or emails. If you receive a text or email that appears to be coming from a friend and it has a suspicious link, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked and that they did indeed send you the message.
- Always validate a charity before making a payment. This can be done by calling or looking at the charity’s actual website. More information is available about charity scams on the FCC’s website at https://www.fcc.gov/scam-charities-will-take-your-money-and-run. External link opens in a new window
More information on scams, including COVID-19 scams, can be found on the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers. External link opens in a new window