LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Research from the Better Business Bureau, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and the Stanford Center on Longevity found that people are more likely to lose money to a scam when they are socially or physically isolated from others, if they are actively engaging online, and if they are financially vulnerable.
“They’re using the vulnerability that everybody has right now, and their emotions against them. A lot of people are scared, maybe nervous about what’s going on,” Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said.
Obviously, finances are a concern so they’re (scammers) using those things, and pretending as though they have the perfect job for you now that the job market is in a bad situation or they have your stimulus check waiting to send to you.
“Scammers are preying on fears because of the coronavirus. Con-artists target consumers through text message or email claiming if you click on a link, you’ll be given a thousand dollars to help you, but, it’s all a scam.
”With what’s going on, right now, some people have been laid off, there’s more people looking for employment. For scammers, that’s an opportunity, and they’re taking that to utilize and boost the employment scams that are going on right now, making jobs sound way too good to be true, hoping to steal your personal identifiable information or even your bank account information,” added Babin.
As people turn to the internet seeking new or temporary employment, they are also at increased risk of employment scams, according to the Better Business Bureau.
“We’ve seen instances where they’re (scammers) sending fake checks wanting you to deposit that in your account and send money elsewhere,” explained Babin. “They’re taking advantage of this situation and scamming as many people as they can.”
Here’s some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid coronavirus-related scams:
- Don’t be afraid to contact a friend, or a company or organization you trust for advice. Isolation is a risk factor for scams.
- Before clicking on a link or sharing personal information online, stop, pause, and research the company or person.
- Beware of job offers that sound too good to be true.