Beware of Coronavirus Scams

Written by Credit Union of Texas
Published March 27, 2020
CUTX Pandemic Fraud Help CUTX Pandemic Fraud Help

Fraudsters often prey on fear, and the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is no exception.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are warning against a surge in coronavirus scams that can be difficult to spot.


Popular Banking Scams

There are many scams exploiting the fear and uncertainty surrounding the virus. Here are some of the most popular scams that have been circulating:

  • Testing and Treatment Scams: Beware of offers for "home" test kits and unknown "miracle" cures. They don't exist. Scammers are also targeting Medicare recipients and offer COVID-19 testing in an attempt to steal personal information.
  • FDIC/IRS/NCUA - People pretend to call from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or National Credit Union Association (NCUA) or your bank and say your bank account or your ability to get cash are in danger and ask for your personal information.
  • Checks from the government - Scammers say they’re from the government and ask for your personal information or try to charge you fake fees for getting your stimulus check or offer you a way to get the money early.
  • Phishing - You receive an email/text message that asks you to verify your bank account or debit card number. Once you give them your information the fraudsters now have access to all of your bank account information.

How do I keep my information safe?

Keep the anti-malware and antivirus software on your computer current and strengthen the security settings on your devices.

Practice responsible internet usage. Never download attachments from unknown sources or click on links embedded in an email from an unknown sender. Don’t share sensitive information online either. To verify a site’s authenticity, check the URL for any misspellings and look for the lock icon and the “s” in the “https.”

Do not give your debit card number or online banking information to anyone. Fraudsters will pose as employees of Credit Union of Texas and call to “verify” your information. CUTX will never call you to ask you for this personal information.

Finally, it’s a good idea to stay updated on the latest news about the coronavirus to avoid falling prey to misinformation.


Spotting the scams

Scammers give themselves away when they ask for payment via specific means, including wire transfer or prepaid gift cards. Another giveaway is poor writing skills and misspelled words. You can keep yourself safe from the coronavirus by practicing good hygiene habits and from coronavirus scams by practicing healthy internet usage.

If you feel like you have been a victim of fraud please contact our member service center at 972-263-9497.