The WOW Outlook: Understanding Fraud During the Coronavirus Outbreak

1. SUPPLY SCAMS Scammers are creating fake shops, websites, social media accounts, and email addresses to sell medical supplies currently in high demand. When consumers attempt to purchase supplies through these channels, fraudsters pocket the money and never provide the promised supplies.

2. TREATMENT SCAMS Scammers are offering to sell fake cures, vaccines, and advice on unproven treatments for Covid-19.

3. PAY UP FRONT TO GET FINANCIAL RELIEF President Trump has instituted several economic relief plans including waived student loan interest, stopped collection of student loan debt, and allowing borrowers to pause student loan payments for 60 days. Scammers are tricking consumers into believing they must first pay a free to receive financial support.

4. FAKE CHARITIES Scammers are “soliciting donations” for individuals, groups and areas affected by coronavirus that are not connected with a real charity.

5. FAKE STIMULUS CHECKS Scammers are sending out fake checks to individuals telling them they overpaid but to cash the check and send the “overpayment” to the “government” or they will be penalized on their taxes.

6. PHISHING SCAMS Scammers posing as national and global health authorities are sending phishing emails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware or provide personal information.

7. INVESTMENT SCAMS Scammers are offering online promotions on various platforms claiming that the products and services of companies can prevent, detect or cure the coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. These promotions are often styled as “research reports,” make predictions of a specific “target price,” and related to microcap stock or low-priced stocks issued by the smallest of companies with limited public information.

Kentucky Bankers Association