Rural and urban Americans both need to be aware and cautious of scams during the COVID-19 pandemic. AARP’s Sean Voskuhl said they continue to hear of coronavirus-related scams, and that, he expects, will likely continue.
“Fraudsters follow the headlines, taking advantage when an outbreak like coronavirus, Ebola or swine flu makes global news. Until there is a readily available treatment and vaccine for this outbreak, we can expect these scams to continue.”
Voskuhl said scammers are targeting the Economic Impact Payments provided by the CARES Act. Some American are receiving their payments in the form of a VISA debit card, which he noted requires extra caution.
“Your card will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” Be careful to call the correct phone number as indicated on the enclosed letter. Don’t search the Internet for the number – scammers are bound to set up fake customer service numbers. And, as always, don’t share your PIN, your debit card number or your Social Security Number to anyone who calls or texts you – it’s a scam.”
Voskuhl said it’s important rural Americans stay vigilant.
“Be skeptical of claims made for untested or little-known health products and closely check email and web addresses in messages purporting to be from major health organizations like the CDC and WHO. Most importantly, never give out your Medicare or health insurance information to anyone other than your trusted health care providers.”
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