BBB putting out COVID-19 warnings on scams, stimulus checks

Money (Getty, Pineapple Studio)
Published:
Updated:

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It seems like as the cases of COVID-19 increase, so do the scams around it. Scott Swan sat down with President and CEO of BBB Tim Maniscalo to get information on what scammers are doing and how to protect yourself.

"This is kind of a perfect storm for scammers for a couple of reasons. Number one, because we are a home, and alot of people are home alone, the research shows that when you're home alone, you're a little more vulnerable to scams," Maniscalo said. "You don't have anybody to talk to and see if that message or email you got is legitimate. Number two, we're spending alot of time online. That's where the scams come from is email and social media. Right now is a very emotional, fearful time that scammers play on. They want you to be fearful. They want you to be emotional and not think logical. It's a perfect storm for scammers to put out their lies and put out their tricks. Unfortunately, under those circumstances, people fall for it."

Common scams

"The one that we're seeing is 'I've got the cure.' There's some sort of vaccine or cure out there that is only out there secretly. When you get that email, they're going to say this is not available to everyone, but we have access to this miracle cure or miracle vaccine," Maniscalo said. "There's even some people who say there's a government secret but we found out about it. We've also seen testimonials, fake testimonials from famous people, once again it's all made up. People think they have access now to a cure or vaccine. And all they want to do is take your money."

Stimulus checks

"Here's the one we're seeing. People are going to call and say 'you qualify, we need to have, they'll say they're from a government agency, we need to have your bank acocunt information so we can deposit that money. You're going to get a call or email - we need your bank account information. We need your checking account information so we can deposit that check," Maniscalo said. "That's not how the checks are going to go. That's not how the government is going to contact you. But that's what we're seeing out there. People saying you qualify, you're going to get this money. We need to get it to you. What's your bank account information?"

Additional BBB Resource