MILWAUKEE — Many of us know that we cannot trust everything we read on the internet, or that we hear from an imposter over the phone. But, if we are affected by something like COVID, we may be more vulnerable to falling for a scam. Here are some of the latest COVID scams going around and how to avoid them.
Contact tracer scams – these scams may be carried out via e-mail, phone call, or text message by someone posing as a COVID contact tracer.
The telltale signs of these scams include imposters asking for things like your Social security number, insurance information, banking or other payment information, or robocalls asking people to push buttons for a bogus free testing kit. Contact tracers will never ask for your Social Security number, insurance information, or payment.
COVID Products - Other scams include ads for products that wrongly claim to be effective in curing COVID, or offers for personal protective equipment such as facemasks. However, some of these ads and products have not been scientifically proven to cure or prevent COVID.
Consumers also report being out big bucks due to companies that never ship products and disappear after a payment was made.
To avoid falling victim to a COVID scam, check things out with reputable sources such as your doctor, local or state health departments, and the Federal Trade Commission. Do not click on links nor provide personal information or payment to someone you do not know. And, if you are checking out a product or company online, include words like complaint, scam or rip-off in your search.
If you spot something that seems suspicious or you have been scammed, contact state and federal consumer resources, law enforcement or our Call 4 Action office for help. Your information could help others from being harmed.