COVID-19 Checklist for Avoiding Scams
- Ohio’s Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Scammers are trying to monopolize on the fear and uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to so many. Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost at www.OhioProtects.org or 1-800-282-0515. Read more here.
- Protect yourself from the bad guys with these helpful tips from the FTC: Click here
Protect yourself by not abbreviating 2020 when signing and dating legal documents:
Scams to watch out for:
FedEx / Amazon scam There's always a new scam to look out for, and like most of them these days, it comes through your phone. Whether it's an email, a robocall, or a text, there are plenty of ways for dishonest people to try to trick you out of your hard-earned money.
One of the latest involves a text which appears to be from FedEx asking you to "set delivery preferences" for a package you have coming. Now, in this day and age, we get packages so frequently it can be hard to keep track of when your last order is expected to arrive. It's entirely possible to assume the text is about a recent legitimate purchase and to have the immediate impulse to open the link.
Once you click on the link, you are taken to a fake Amazon page offering you a reward for taking a survey. That should be your first clue something is wrong because it didn't take you to a tracking page for FedEx, and the URL, of course, doesn't read Amazon.com.
Next, it gives you a choice of "free" rewards to choose from, but here's the catch, you're going to have to pay shipping, which involves entering your credit card information. Not only are you handing over your credit card info, but hidden in the fine print, it says you're agreeing to sign up for a 14-day free trial. Once the trial ends, the charges begin, and you'll be charged $98.95 every month for a new supply of that "free" reward you chose.
This is just a friendly reminder to always stay hyper-vigilant when receiving an email or text with a link. If possible, avoid clicking links and go to the website yourself to check the tracking or other info, and always block the number or email if the message is clearly spam or a scam.
IRS scam There has been an increase in scams targeting taxpayers during this tax season. Scammers claiming to be IRS employees, with fake names and identification numbers, will call victims saying that they owe money to the IRS. They claim that the money must be paid promptly via gift cards or a wire transfer and threaten the victim with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or license if they don't pay the amount. They may also try to trick the victim into sharing private information over the phone.
There has also been a surge in email phishing and malware scams. Thieves will use the IRS name or logo to try to gain access to a consumer's financial information. Be alert to emails from your tax professional that request information for an IRS form. These emails could also contain links to bogus web sites that are made to look official.
The IRS will never contact taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Please be alert to these types of scams. To view a full list of reported scams, click here
to visit the IRS official website.
FTC scam: Someone pretending to be from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is sending out fake emails telling people that their Do Not Call registration is expiring. The emails use the FTC's logo and send people to a phony Do Not Call website to register their numbers again. Do Not Call registrations never expire. Once you add a number to the Do Not Call Registry, you don't need to register it again -- ever. The number will only be removed if you ask to remove it. -- consumer.ftc.gov, January 26, 2018
Debit card scam
: TrueCore has received several calls in the past concerning members receiving a text message stating, "Your FCU debit credit card has been blocked due to fraud." The members are then asked to text back all the debit card information, including the CVV code on the back. We will never ask for your personal information in this manner.
TrueCore will never ask for your personal information in this manner. If you receive a text message similar to the one stated above, please do note respond and instead call us directly at 740-345-6608 or 800-333-2465 or send us an email at email@example.com to inquire about your card status.
Sheriff Office phone scam: Licking County residents are being warned of a scam in which callers pose as the Licking County Sheriff's Office and solicit money. According to an email sent from LCSO Sheriff Randy Thorp, the office is not soliciting funds over the phone. If a resident receives a call from the "sheriff's office" or a "Sgt. Carson" asking for money, the call is a scam.
Vishing scam: Credit Union members in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia are being targeted in a vishing (phone-based phishing) scam in which fraudsters spoof phone numbers making the calls appear to originate from the credit union. The members are duped into providing CVV2/CVC2 codes and expiration dates for their debit cards. The fraudsters, already possessing the counterfeit mag stripe debit cards, use the information to change the PINs through voice response units. Then, they use the counterfeit cards to make ATM withdrawals, as well as purchases at Wal-Mart in Florida and Georgia.
TrueCore is dedicated to protecting your privacy and security. We will never ask for sensitive information from you via email (ie., Social Security Number, Personal ID, Password, PIN or account number). Remember, we already have that information, so there is no need for us to ask for it again.