Far from being derailed, scammers saw another platform in the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19 to victimize people as they devised ways around the virus on how to get soon-to-be available stimulus fund and hard-earned money from seniors and other innocent victims.
With their schemes, scammers target and pounced on the seniors who are most vulnerable for having weaker immunity against the sickness by promising delivery of vaccines and drugs in exchange for their bank details.
As a result, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a warning not to entertain phony calls supposedly from their office asking for one’s bank account number to deposit your $1,2000 stimulus checks for they are sure to be from scammers preying on their innocent victims.
The IRS says it will not call to ask about payment details saying that anyone calling to ask for account information “is trying to scam you, and we advise you to hang up if you get such a call.”
People are also advised not to click on any links claiming they can get your money to you faster.
For its part, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned against scammers posing as government agents reaching out to potential victims through texts, phone calls, and/or social media purportedly to facilitate faster release of this federal relief and trick them into giving important personal bank details of potential victims.
Other scammers would even promise that they can work for an additional $150,000 on top of the usual amount in exchange for personal bank details and processing fee.
Once these bank account names, numbers and their passwords are known, scammers would have access to their funds immediately leaving the victims to weep.
FTC echoes IRS caution for people to avoid communication from strangers asking for processing and clearance fees for quicker release of funds.,
They added that seniors are particularly targeted by a claim to facilitate a special grant of big amount to help pay for future medical bills.
On the other hand, the Department of Treasury advised that if one receives calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, do not respond as these are scams. One is advised to contact the FBI at www.ic3.gov so that the scammers can be tracked and stopped.
Adding their voice of caution, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reiterates that there are still no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus even as scientists race against time to develop a vaccine against the virus and a medicine to cure the same.
The FTC also exhorts the public not to share misinformation and rumors that have not been verified.
The FTC can also be reached through www.ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) to file a complaint or report any suspicious claims.