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COVID-19 Scams

Life-altering events seem to bring out the best and the worst in people.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been just that—a life-altering event. Outside of all the obvious negative ways the pandemic has affected us, coronavirus scams are popping up everywhere and targeting the vulnerable.

With hundreds of billions of dollars flowing into the economy through stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and business loan programs, this has become a perfect environment for scams.

Some of the scams include:

  • Stimulus payment scams – Fake phone calls and phishing schemes try to get your stimulus cash. The IRS won’t phone, text, or email you about your payment and won’t require a fee to get it.
  • Contractor scams—Con artist may try to persuade you to sign over your stimulus payment or charge your insurance for poor home improvement work or damage repair.
  • Fake insurance protections—Scammers are offering low-priced “corona insurance” to cover COVID-19 treatment.
  • Trip cancellation insurance—Standard travel insurance may not cover pandemics. Be wary of offers that cover COVID-19 related trip cancellations.

One state, in particular—Utah—has shown concern with coronavirus fraud targeting seniors. The Utah Insurance Department recently released an article containing tips from the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, designed to help prevent seniors from becoming a victim of COVID-19 scam.

How to avoid becoming a victim?

  • Ignore calls and texts from unknown numbers.
  • Avoid opening emails from unknown sources. Be especially wary of clicking links.
  • “Free” tests, treatments, etc. are a sham. Ignore them.

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