Please be aware that cybercriminals are taking advantage of consumer fears surrounding the Coronavirus. Below is a list of Coronavirus-related scams that have been reported to the Federal Trade Commission and steps you can take to protect yourself.
As stimulus checks are scheduled to be issued in the upcoming weeks, criminals are likely to surface with new scams. These scams may come in the form of fake checks, social media/text messages asking for personal information, fake agencies asking for Social Security numbers and claims that a “processing fee” is required.
What to do: Be cautious of any person posing as a government official or a representative of the government that requests your personal or account information—like your Social Security number or debit card information—or a fee to process your stimulus check. Consider visiting legitimate websites, like IRS.gov, to search for answers to questions you have about stimulus checks.
Online sellers claim to have in-demand products such as cleaning, household and health supplies. They collect the buyer's money, but never deliver the merchandise.
What to do: Search the seller online by name, phone number, and email address before completing a purchase. Include terms like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam” in your search. Always use a safe method of payment (i.e., credit card) – never pay by gift card or wire transfer.
These methods are often used to obtain personal information, such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login ID and passwords, or install malware on your device. This information can be used to steal your money, identity or both.
What to do: Protect your devices by keeping your software up to date, do not open messages from unknown sources and do not click on any links you don't recognize or already trust.
Criminals often take advantage of our generosity during times like these by using names that sound familiar or similar to real charities.
What to do: Before making a donation, research the charity you wish to support to ensure it's legitimate. Always use a safe method of payment (i.e., credit card) – never pay by gift card or wire transfer.
These calls are often used to pitch scams to consumers.
What to do: Hang up without pressing any numbers or special keys as this could lead to more robocalls.
Scammers, and often well-meaning individuals, share information that hasn’t been verified.
What to do: Before you pass on any messages, and certainly before you pay someone or share your personal information, do some fact checking by consulting trusted informational sources.
If you have any questions relating to your account or your safety, we would be glad to help. Please remember that First Community will never ask for your password or PIN.
While we’re always available for our customers, we’re working hard to be even more available during this time of uncertainty. Even though we might not be able to provide our usual welcoming handshake, we've still got the warm smile and friendly voice you're used to.
For more information regarding Coronavirus scams please refer to the Federal Trade Commission webpage.