Scams to Watch for Related to COVID-19, Unemployment

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There are a number of ongoing scams to watch out for and Watertown Savings Bank has put together a list of the details for some of these scams.

Read the announcement from Watertown Savings below:

Safeguarding your personal and financial information is crucial to preventing fraud. We would like to make you aware of new scams—some related to COVID-19—that have recently affected our communities. The scammers have targeted the elderly, those applying for and receiving unemployment benefits, those seeking information on the coronavirus, and others.

Elderly Scams:A scammer calls elderly residents claiming to be their grandchild or their grandchild’s lawyer; they proceed to tell fake stories to ask for money (e.g. the scammer claims the grandchild is in jail and needs bail money).

  • Be mindful of the information you share on social media about your family and whereabouts.
  • Always be wary of urgent requests for money made over the phone, by email, in person, or on social media.

Unemployment Scams:Bogus unemployment claims have been filed with stolen personal information.

  • Do not respond to requests to open a new bank account to receive money for people you do not know.
  • Only use your own account number and the bank’s routing number to set up a direct deposit of your unemployment benefits (your unemployment benefits should never go to another person’s bank account).
  • Do not respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government. The IRS will not contact you to request your personal information or to assist you in applying for any benefits.

COVID-19 Scams:There are many bogus claims of treatment, fake charities, undelivered goods, fake emails, texts, phishing, and more.

  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations or coronavirus treatments. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time.
  • Be wary of ads for test kits. Most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA and aren’t necessarily accurate.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Be mindful of spelling errors in the email addresses and text, and do not click on any tempting links.
  • Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
  • Research the charities you would like to make a donation to. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.

Please be vigilant about sharing your personal information. For more information on how to protect yourself against fraud, please visit the Watertown Savings Bank website (watertownsavings.com).

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