We are living in… well, interesting times. There is so much to process and work through while we navigate life through this COVID-19 pandemic. One thing that has been wonderful to see is all of the people who are helping each other in creative ways. It has also been amazing to watch the tireless efforts of the essential employees that are keeping the country running, like health care workers and grocery store associates. The best of humanity is shining its light, but with that also comes the worst of humanity.

Some people are taking this global health crisis as an opportunity to prey on the vulnerable. What better time to scam people online than when the general population is existing in a state of fear and survival? Here are the top 5 scams to be on the lookout for.

1 – Emails are being sent out with a person imitating a family member. They need medicine and ask for money to acquire it. The scammer uses Facebook and other social media platforms to learn enough about you and your relatives to scam you into thinking it’s someone you know or love.

2 – Another common email that is circulating is late payment notices. These emails are posing as banks and credit card companies.

3 – Fake charities are popular right now. The scammers prey upon our good nature to help others. Don’t give to any charity that you aren’t absolutely sure is real and legitimate. Here is an example of a legitimate way to donate to help others in our local community during this time! United Way Disaster Relief Fund

4. There are online sellers claiming they have hot items right now, such as toilet paper and cleaning products. You place an order, but they never ship your items. If you are unsure of whether or not a seller or company is real, google their name along with the word scam. You’ll quickly find out whether or not they are a legitimate business.

5 – Finally be aware of people calling or emailing claiming to be from the IRS. The caller will claim to need your checking account number so they can deposit your stimulus check. The IRS will not call you to ask for this information!

If you’re aware of any more scams that are making the rounds, please let us know, and we will add it to the list. In this time of uncertainty, we want to do everything we can to help others avoid unnecessary financial burdens!