Most people have gotten that call from scammers pretending to be the IRS to collect SSN’s from people and use them for their own benefit. These calls usually annoy these people and lead them to hang up on the scammer, so that the scammer doesn’t get their desired information.
However, during the coronavirus, many people have become more desperate for money since people have lost their jobs and need to find a way to pay their bills. Scammers know that people will do anything to come across an extra buck, and take advantage of this by setting up robocalls to steal people’s information. They pretend to be the government and other services to take people’s money as they perform a number of coronavirus robocall scams.
Top 5 Types of Coronavirus Robocall Scams
Social Security Administration Scam
Scammers call their victims pretending to be the Social Security Administration, and ask for personal information, such as SSNs. They sometimes even demand this information, saying that your social security account is suspended due to fraudulent activity so that you’ll hand your information over. Once the victim gives them this information, the scammer then uses it to commit identity fraud. They can then apply for credit cards, or request information from banks, to then steal your funds.
Fake Tests Scam
Scammers call their victims and ask for their personal and medical insurance information so that they can supposedly send them free coronavirus testing kits. However, they use this information to then commit identity fraud and use your information to apply for credit cards, log onto your bank account, and apply for credit to get loans on things.
Small Business Listing Scam
Scammers call small businesses and pretend that their Google listing will get taken down since they aren’t open due to the coronavirus. They demand that the business gives them their information and then threaten to take their information off of Google if they don’t comply when they don’t have the power to do that. With the information received, they can then pretend to be that business and apply to credit cards, access their bank accounts, and more to steal their funds.
Stimulus Check Scam
Scammers call pretending to be the government pretending to be the IRS and ask for your information, claiming they need it to deposit the stimulus relief check into your account. Once you give them your information, they then access it instead and commit identity fraud under your name. They can then open up a credit card and access your bank account pretending to be you and steal all your hard-earned funds.
Student Loan Scam
Scammers pretend to be student loan forgiveness programs and student loan companies, calling those with student loan debt to pry their personal information out of them. Once the scammers have the information, they then use it to commit identity theft and apply for credit cards under your name or access your bank account.
How to Avoid Coronavirus Robocall Scams
- Don’t give anyone your personal or financial information. If you give scammers your information, they can use it to commit identity fraud against you and open up credit cards or get in your banking information. There is no excuse as to why people on the phone would need this information since the government already has it.
- Avoid answering the phone for anyone you don’t know. A lot of 800 and 888 numbers are scam numbers, and unless you are planning on buying something from a telemarketer, they should be avoided in case a scammer is calling you. If you do need to answer calls from people you don’t know, be wary of who could be on the other end of the call.
- Report any robocall cases to the FTC. Once the FTC hears about what you went through, they can then stop the scammer from scamming more people.
- Hang up any suspicious calls. If the call sounds shady and they keep demanding that you give them personal information, hang up immediately!
- Use a call blocking app or device. A call blocking app or device can help prevent any suspicious or unknown numbers from coming through on your device so that you don’t fall for any coronavirus robocall scams.
You can also reverse search the call. If you feel like you’ve been scammed in any way, Social Catfish is here to help. If you have the phone number of the person you think scammed you, you can reverse search their phone number to see what information comes up under it. If you have any additional information such as email addresses, names, usernames, or images this could also help trace the person calling you.