More on Localizing Coronavirus Scams

by May 29, 2020
From job scams to stimulus check schemes, criminals could be taking advantage of Coronavirus fears in a variety of ways. Photo of a person wearing a hoodie by Luis Villasmil via Unsplash.

With millions of Americans out of work and anxieties running high, the National Consumers League warns that a variety of scams could proliferate during the pandemic. Some of these scams involve money but others could jeopardize public health.

Here’s a look at scams your readers may want to know about.

Pet adoption scams

With consumers more isolated and many looking for furry companions while they shelter in place, Fraud.org reports an increase in pet adoption scams this spring. These scams often ask wouldbe adopters to pay a shipping fee or inoculation fee before they even see the pet.

Stimulus check scams

Readers who are still awaiting their stimulus checks should be wary of people claiming they can expedite the check’s arrival. CNN reports that criminals started this scheme even before the IRS began issuing checks. A Census-related stimulus scam claims that recipients need to complete the Census before receiving their check.

Job scams

As more people search for work-from-home jobs, the Better Business Bureau predicts a spike in work-from-home job scams. The scammer may ask for bank account information or a Social Security Number with the promise of a job that never materializes.

Coronavirus testing scams

AARP warns that fake testing sites are popping up around the country. These fake testing sites not only steal people’s money but could be infecting consumers by failing to follow appropriate medical protocols.

Reporter’s Takeaway

Your state’s attorney general office or a local consumer group may be able to provide statistics and other information on common scams in your area. If you can find a local person who’s encountered a scam recently, that could also put a human face on this issue.