Avoiding COVID-19 Related Scams

April 30- SCAM ALERT
Scammers are using the panicked and uncertain time surrounding the global pandemic of COVID-19 to attempt to steal money and resources from residents. United Way is urging everyone to remain vigilant and wary of all possible scams designed to play off of people's fears of the virus and the tough financial economy. Some things to keep in mind during this time, to help you spot and avoid potential scams:
  • Scammers may try to contact you by phone, email, social media or text message.
  • Don’t click on links or open emails from sources you’re not familiar with.
  • Don’t answer telephone calls from numbers you don’t recognize or calls that don’t identify the number. If you happen to answer a scam call, just hang up. Don’t press any numbers even if it offers to let you speak to a live person or to remove you from their call list.
  • Ignore offers for COVID-19 treatments, vaccines or home testing kits.
  • Consult your physician before taking any medications or supplements.
  • Your stimulus check will automatically be direct deposited or mailed to you by the IRS. You don’t need to do anything. For more information contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 or visit www.IRS.gov/coronavirus.
  • No one has early access to the stimulus checks and can’t expedite the money. You are not required to pay a fee to get your money.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS or Social Security Administration will not call, text, email or contact you on social media to request information.
  • You will continue to receive your social security benefits even if the offices are closed. For more information contact the Social Security Administration directly at 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.SSA.gov.
  • All charities soliciting within or from Florida are required to register and file financial information with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (some exclusions). To check out a charity call 1-800-435-7352 or visit their website.
  • To report suspected COVID-19 related fraud, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-4721 or email disaster@leo.gov.