The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect us all, and scammers continue to do all they can to take advantage of it.
How these scams work:
- Scammers lure in targets with an offer to “skip the line” for quicker access to the COVID-19 vaccine – for a fee.
- They claim to be selling in-demand supplies, like face masks, test kits and household cleaners.
- They hack into people’s social media accounts and send the user’s contacts a message saying they can get you a “COVID relief grant.
- Scammers send text messages impersonating contact tracers warning you’ve been exposed to the virus and to click a link for more info.
What you can do:
- Ignore any offer to skip the vaccine line – it’s a lie.
- Engage your inner skeptic when you see ads offering in-demand, hard-to-obtain supplies.
- Be suspicious of messages or posts from people in your social media circle with a special offer – contact them via other means to warn them their account may have been hacked (and tell them to change their password right away).
- Real contact tracers will not send you a link to click, and they will not ask for money or sensitive personal information.
- Be warned that links in texts and emails can download software that steals your usernames and passwords and other sensitive info.
If you suspect that you or someone you know has been targeted by scammers call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.
Learn more about COVID-19 scams at aarp.org/covid19fraud