Socially Distance Yourself From COVID-19 Scams

Posted By T. Lee Sherbakoff, CPA/PFS, CFP® on Apr 9, 2020


Socially Distance Yourself From COVID-19 Scams

From Lee Sherbakoff, The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC.

Dear friends,

Whenever there is a natural disaster, there are always people who prey on those who want to help. Today, the disaster is a pandemic. Many are fearful, many are scared. It makes us especially vulnerable.

The FTC has warned Americans to beware of the potential scams that are proliferating. Here are some precautions to take that will keep you safer:

  • Hang up on robocalls, and don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch fraudulent COVID-19 treatments and work-at-home schemes. Press a number to be removed from a list and you’ll likely get more calls.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and unproven home test kits.
  • Ignore texts and emails about cash from the government. Stimulus checks will be forthcoming, but, per the FTC, anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
  • Be leery of emails that claim to be from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts that claim they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus, visit the websites of the CDC or the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • On the same note, malware and phishing scams are on the uptick. Legitimate companies will never ask you to verify passwords or usernames via an email. Fraudsters will.
  • Do you see misspelled words or grammatical mistakes? That’s a sure sign that the official-looking email originated from a suspicious source.

Here’s a warning from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that was updated on March 30:

Fraudsters often use the latest news developments to lure investors into scams. We have become aware of a number of Internet promotions claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect or cure coronavirus, and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

Please be aware of the substantial potential for fraud at this time.

Please be careful. We are living in uncertain times. While I am confident this will pass, uncertainty breeds fear, and there are criminals all over the world ready to cash in on your fear.

Stay safe.

The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC

DISCLOSURES: The information provided in this letter is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product, and should not be construed as investment, legal, or tax advice. The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by third parties and its use and disclaim any liability arising out of, or reliance on the information. These indexes reflect investments for a limited period of time and do not reflect performance in different economic or market cycles and are not intended to reflect the actual outcomes of any client of The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC. Past performance does not guarantee future results.