GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear and others warned Wednesday that scammers are ramping up their efforts on everything from unemployment benefits to stimulus checks to coronavirus testing.
State Unemployment Director Josh Benton said his department already is hearing claims of citizens getting fake e-mails and tests asking for money to help cut through red tape or to help increase their jobless benefits. Those aren’t real, he warned.
And pop-coronavirus tents are showing up charging $250 for tests. Mail tests and other scams also are increasing.
It’s something law enforcement and others preach all the time — don’t fall victim to scammers.
“Don’t let a stressful situation cause you to let your guard down,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during his Wednesday briefing.
But with scam artists on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic, using everything from e-mail hoaxes or wonderful-sounding phone offers, area law enforcement are stepping up outreach to help residents avoiding being victims.
The Georgetown Police Department is among those passing along some simple tips:
• Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
• Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
• Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
• Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
• Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
• Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
• Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
• Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.