Unfortunately, as we struggle during this uncertain and stressful time, there are other entities that are using the crisis to target our technology with scams and malware. The Federal Trade Commission has issued a number of ways to avoid becoming a victim of a scam and I think it is useful to our residents to reiterate those suggestions here:
- Hang up on robocalls. These calls promise a myriad of opportunities to those who are willing to continue with the call. They can lead to scams, phishing or a complete waste of time.
- Contact trusted sources for your up-to-date information. Facebook is not a primary source of information, so please be wary when relying on what you read. The person standing in the checkout line at a store is also not a primary source of information. There are a number of reliable sources from the government including www.consumer.ftc.gov (this will also link to the CDC and WHO). Governor Beshear also provides a televised update at 5pm daily.
- Know what you are buying online. Do not trust those products that are guaranteed to cure Coronavirus or those that can be used to detect it. Those agencies that are legitimately directed to use and administer any medical tests/treatments have already been given supplies as they become available.
- At this time, the government is not mailing checks to any taxpayer for coronavirus subsidy. They are looking into this in the future, but as of now it is not available. If someone tells you otherwise, they are a scammer.
- Do not click on a link from a source you do not know. Even if that link is forwarded from a friend, their email/Facebook page could have been hacked to spread the malware (especially if it is related to coronavirus).
- Be careful of calls or emails that are masquerading as the CDC or WHO. Again, it’s best to go right to the source.
- Do not rush into making any donation. There are a number of beneficial, legitimate organizations out there looking to help. There are also a number of others who are using the crisis to generate quick money for themselves. Beware of those entities asking for donations in cash, by gift card or by wiring funds.
- Lastly, please be mindful of the elderly relatives and friends who are more vulnerable to these types of scams.
Sorry for the length, but hopefully this information will help keep people from becoming victims. It’s useful information not only now during this difficult time, but also at other times as we are continuously at threat of scammers and malware.
Mayor, City of Villa Hills