People in Missouri are being warned to be extra vigilant as scam callers are likely to ramp up their activity over the next few weeks to take advantage of increasing amounts of people being at home due to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
A news release says scammers and fraudsters will be ready to strike and take advantage of the situation as more states go into lockdown, forcing people to stay at home, and is warning people in Missouri to be on their guard for a rise in bogus calls.
The top five active scams that people in Missouri should watch out for over the next few weeks as the Coronavirus situation unfolds:
1. Fake test kits scam – someone may call claiming to offer free Coronavirus testing kits and will ask you for your personal information and health insurance details. A common version of this scam targets diabetic individuals that are higher risk, where a scam caller will offer both a free Coronavirus test kit and a free diabetic monitor.
2. FDIC scam – scam-callers posing as employees from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will ask you for sensitive information, such as your social security number and bank account information, over the phone as a precondition to receive federal money. Remember the FDIC would never make unsolicited phone calls asking for personal information and money, and especially would not put pressure on you or threaten you.
3. Charity scam – you may get a call from someone claiming to be from a charitable organization which is collecting donations for individuals, groups or areas affected by Coronavirus. The caller will ask you to send cash donations in the mail, by wire transfer or by gift card.
4. Healthcare provider scam – scam-callers pretending to work for a healthcare provider will tell you that a relative or friend has been treated for Coronavirus, and then demand immediate payment for treatment before threatening legal action if you don’t pay. Healthcare providers would not contact you this way.
5. Student loan scams – you receive a call to tell you that new measures due to the Coronavirus outbreak will have an effect on your student loan, and that you need to ring a different phone number to find out how the new measures will impact your future payment obligations. If you ring this number, a scammer may ask you for personal information like your social security number and credit card details.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true or out of the ordinary, then it could well be a scam.