If you’re not living under a rock, you have probably encountered a scammer …
Scammers target victims in a variety of ways, from fake emails, text messages, voice telephone calls, letters, or even showing up at your door with a “sales pitch.” The latest scam attempt we experienced was when a supposed representative from our local electric company telephoned to tell us that our electricity was to be cut off sometime this day. We could avoid this by paying our latest bill right away. The caller said he could help make that happen by transferring us to the billing department. “Just pay whatever your last bill amount was, and all would be okay,” he said. So while we’re checking our online account, he’s busy transferring us. Of course, we had already made that payment. When the billing department representative came on the line, he was quick to get pushy, stating that they had not received the payment and it was over due. This was a lie. As we checked our account, we saw the payment had been received and the debit from our bank had been been processed.
Here are some other examples:
- You may be threatened with law enforcement action
- Told to purchase gift cards and provide codes as a form of payment
- Asked to cash a check for a stranger or send money via wire transfer
- Asked to deposit a check that overpays for something you’re selling, then send the difference elsewhere
Scammers are taking advantage of the current environment to try to obtain your personal and financial, including COVID-19 scams.
- Vaccine scams: scammers are offering to provide a vaccine sooner than expected for a fee.
- Stimulus scams: You should know that you will never be asked to provide personal information in order to receive stimulus funds, so don’t fall for any such requests.
- Imposter scams: Scammers send phishing emails pretending to be an official organization like the CDC and WHO. Don’t click on any links in these emails. They may contain malware or allow access to information on your device.
- Charity scams: Check out any charity that requests donations. Scammers have reached out asking for donations to a charity, but the charity is fake.
- Employment scams: Scammers will make employment opportunities attractive by sending a fake check to purchase job-related supplies, often asking for funds to be returned. 
Contact Tracers: If you are contacted by someone saying they are making notifications about the chance someone you were in contact with has developed COVID-19 symptoms, beware. They may ask for your name and address, health information and the names of places and people you have visited. Scammers will ask you to do more.
- Don’t pay a contact tracer.
- Don’t give your Social Security number or financial information.
- Don’t share your immigration status.
- Don’t click on links or download anything sent in an email from a contact tracer.
If you think you’re dealing with a fake contact tracer, check with your state health department to see if they have a way to make sure the person contacting you is a real contact tracer. If not, hang up, close the door, or don’t respond to, click on, or download anything that may be in an email or text. Then, report it to your state and to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov/complaint. 
If you authorize a transfer or send money to a scammer, there is often little your bank can do to help get your money back.
Dave Reed Insurance is sending you this information to help keep you safe from scammer situations.