COVID-19 Scammers have stolen tens of millions from unsuspecting citizens
Nationwide, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have received reports of scammers fraudulently soliciting donations for individuals, groups, and areas affected by COVID-19. They are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them.
Charity scams often occur when a scammer poses as a real charity or uses the name of a real charity to get money from you.
Be careful about giving money to any charity calling you for donations and be wary if you get a call about a donation pledge that you don’t remember making. Remember, you can’t always believe your caller ID. Scammers often spoof organizations’ phone numbers. It’s always best to research the organization’s telephone number yourself and call directly to verify. Do not be pressured or rushed to donate. That is a strong indicator of a scam.
Similarly, if you receive an email purporting to be from a charitable organization, do not click on links. These could be attempts to download viruses onto your computer or cell phone.
Watch out for charity names that sound very similar to well-known charities, as well as email addresses that are not consistent with the charity soliciting donations. Instead, search for the charity using an internet search engine to ensure you’re connected to the actual charitable organization.