The Coronavirus has had many devastating impacts over the last two years, particularly among senior citizens. One problem the community may not have anticipated is a rise in COVID-19 related fraud cases, however, the FBI has recently warned individuals of several different scams. In a measure to protect the clients at our Senior Home Care, and others who may be victims of the schemes, we have provided information on the types of scams arising, what to look out for and how to protect yourself against COVID-19 related fraud cases. Try to remember that, while this may be an emotional situation, it is important not to make emotional decisions.
Perhaps the most serious scam is when criminals claim to have a cure for the coronavirus. The best way to treat COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. When getting medical assistance, make sure that you only receive treatment from your:
- Local Health Clinic
Don’t buy into these “cures.” Not only do they not work, but they can be extremely dangerous. Be wary of any products that claim to prevent, treat, or diagnose the virus, as there are many unapproved products on the market. If you are looking for medical attention, it is highly recommended that you do not make hasty decisions. Instead, turn to the appropriate sources.
Work From Home Scams
More people are looking to work from home as new variants of the virus emerge. It is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe, while also earning an income. However, it is much easier to be the victim of a scam when looking for work-from-home opportunities.
It is very easy to make a desperate decision when you are unemployed and looking for work. If you are not currently retired and you are out of work, be wary of opportunistic criminals. For example, a common red flag is when a company asks you to pay for training, or products before you start work.
A scam that has become more prevalent is criminals pretending to work with the government, as it is an easy way to gain someone’s trust. Criminals who impersonate government officials will reach out to you in various ways. A few of the most common is through:
- Social Media Posts
- Phone Calls
In many cases, they claim to need funding for testing, or medical equipment. They may appear to be legitimate, however, the government will not reach out to you in this way. They are not trying to help you. Their only goal is to get your money or your personal information.
Individuals who wish to build their retirement funds may look for opportunities in many forms. However, if you see or are offered the opportunity to invest in types of cures and treatments for the virus, this is a red flag, and you should not pursue it. You may be lured by the opportunity to “get rich quick” and further a seemingly reputable cause. However, these COVID schemes are considered some of the most lucrative, as investors can lose thousands. Therefore, if presented with this opportunity, err on the side of caution, and decline to invest.
The FBI is currently investigating many of the scams mentioned in this article and has made countless arrests against criminals engaging in these acts. To help with their ongoing investigations, it is recommended that you report any suspicious activity to the FBI. If you see potential scams online, you can also report them to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
The best way you can protect yourself is to be on the lookout for possible scam artists. You can do this by being extremely diligent with your online communications.
- Verify the email address of individuals who send you emails (even if the email looks like that of an acquaintance).
- When online, don’t click on any suspicious links. If you are interested but uncertain, you can hover over the link to see what site it will take you to before you click.
We understand that you may be scared and looking for help, which is why our senior home care has provided this information. As new scams arise, we will do our best to inform our patients and other vulnerable seniors throughout Miami and the surrounding areas. Contact Advocare for additional questions.