While COVID-19 shut down the world, countries like the U.S. are starting to recover now that the pandemic is coming under control. This may mean slowly getting back to your usual way of life and having a chance to go out more, but scammers are also just as excited to hunt for new victims. States lifting COVID restrictions cause many scams to resurface. In the article below, we will establish these types of scams and how to avoid the scams resurfacing after the pandemic. Read on to keep yourself safe while you’re starting to get back on your feet after the pandemic.
States Lifting COVID Restrictions Cause Many Scams to Resurface
Available data shows that the U.S. economy now operates at 92% compared to where it was in March. While more businesses are reopening and more people are leaving their homes, certain scams are also resurfacing after the pandemic. This is because scammers now take advantage of your activities after the pandemic — be it vacation plans, employment, or online shopping. So, while restrictions are being lifted, scammers are also gearing up to perform or repeat different tactics and scams.
Types of Scams Resurfacing After the Pandemic
The first step to steer clear of fraudulent acts is to know what scams are resurfacing after the pandemic. Let’s explore some of the most common scams.
Vacation Rental Scams
Given that more people have been vaccinated and there are no more strict quarantine protocols, you may be thrilled to travel again, especially this summer. While you plan your quick getaway and book some rentals online, make sure that they’re not a scam. Some scam artists offer fake vacation rentals through social media posts. Others will send you emails highlighting vacation rentals with top-notch amenities at extremely low rates.
These scammers are also quick to replace the contact information of real vacation rentals with their own. Others will even advertise rentals that do not exist. So, what you anticipate as a fun and relaxing vacation might just be filled with stress and disappointment.
Online Shopping Scams
More people have relied on online shopping during the pandemic — buying groceries or getting their favorite books, clothes, or home decor. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) scam tracker showed that one of the top scams is related to online purchases. Scammers will create fake online stores, and you’ll end up buying defective or even non-existent products.
Others will copy the websites of legitimate retailers to trick you into buying items that you think are good value for money but are actually a waste of your time and money. For instance, Amazon Prime Day scams resurfaced as con artists offered early Prime Day deals and made excuses for lost packages or incomplete orders. Even after the pandemic, more people may still resort to online shopping, given its convenience. However, online shopping scams are still expected to resurface, so safe and responsible online shopping is encouraged.
While cryptocurrencies have become more popular during the pandemic, more people have been victimized by cryptocurrency scams. Based on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports, Americans lost over $80 million — a 1,000% increase from 2019. Scammers will pose as celebrities, trying to convince you to send them cryptocurrency while assuring you that they will help with your investment.
Other crooks will offer investment tips online. However, you will be redirected to fake sites. There are even scammers who act as a business or government agency affiliated with cryptocurrencies. So, even after the pandemic, beware of cryptocurrency scams resurfacing as scam artists continue to be creative in fooling people for money.
How To Avoid Scams After States Lifting COVID Restrictions
To keep yourself from getting new kinds of stress after the pandemic, avoid these resurfacing scams with the following steps:
- Research the company before making your purchase. You can look for it on BBB and see if there are complaints regarding the business or products.
- Ignore emails that include huge discounts. If the offer seems too unrealistic, it’s probably not real.
- Never disclose any of your personal or financial information, whether via email, phone, online forms, or ads. Otherwise, you’re making it easier for scammers to steal your identity and money.
- Check the language used. If there are several typos, grammatical mistakes, and awkward phrases, then the message or ad might just be made by a scammer.
- Before depositing any amount of money on a vacation rental, ask for a copy of the contract. Review it carefully, and search whether the vacation rental truly exists.
- Never send strangers money via wire transfer. Whether you’re booking a rental or shopping online, avoid sending money through Western Union or MoneyGram because you can never get your money back.
- Use strong passwords for every account to prevent potential hacking. Avoid using generic ones, like birthdays or anniversaries.
- Report possible scams to the FTC. Highlight the crucial details, like name, email address, phone number used, time of purchase, and more, for faster investigation.
States Lifting COVID Restrictions: Stay Sharp With Social Catfish
Whether it’s pre-pandemic or post-pandemic, scammers are always on standby, waiting for their next victim. So if you’re wondering what scams are resurfacing after the pandemic, vacation rental scams, online shopping scams, and cryptocurrency scams top the list. To help you catch these scammers before they try to con you, complete a reverse search at Social Catfish.