Takoma Park Police and the Federal Communications Commission are warning residents of scammers preying on consumers during the pandemic trying to capitalize on the COVID-19 vaccines, according to an emailed community advisory.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States, the FCC has learned of scam text-message campaigns and robocalls that prey on virus-related fears,” a statement from the FCC reads.
- Bad actors are trying to capitalize on the rollout of COVID vaccines. Anyone calling or texting and asking you to pay for a vaccine is a scammer. Get tips to avoid these scams.
- COVID-19 text scams may falsely advertise a cure or offer bogus tests. Learn more and see examples of scam texts.
- Robocall scams have focused on health and financial concerns connected to COVID-19. Learn more and listen to actual scam audio.
- As online shopping increases, so do delivery notification scam calls and texts. Find out what to watch out for.
- Fraudsters are trying steal insurance information, money or both. Get tips to avoid offers for bogus COVID-19 antibodies tests or pharmacy scams.
- Contact tracing scams are on the rise. Find out more about contact tracing and how to protect yourself.
- Coronavirus scammers are targeting older Americans. Get information to share with seniors and their families.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment apps help consumers avoid contact with vendors, but missteps in P2P app use can be costly. Find out what you can do to avoid being scammed.
The FCC has also shared the following tips for avoiding COVID-19 Scams:
- Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
- Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
- Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
- Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
- Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked.
- Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)
If you think you’ve been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately. Coronavirus scam complaints can be filed online with the Federal Trade Commission.
The FCC has continued to process informal consumer complaints throughout the pandemic. View data, by category, for informal consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Learn more about the FCC response to the pandemic at fcc.gov/coronavirus.