Unfortunately, cyber criminals are using the Coronavirus pandemic as a new way to take advantage of people and gain access to their money, passwords and other sensitive information. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) wants you to take extra precautions to spot and stop scammers before it’s too late.
Take steps to keep scammers at bay:
- Do not reveal personal or financial information online.
- Protect your computer by keeping your operating system software up to date and by using security software. Use multi-factor authentication on your accounts and back up your data.
- Make sure your cell phone is up to date by setting your phone settings so software updates automatically.
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. Hang up on robocalls and do not press any numbers.
- Do not answer text messages from unknown numbers and do not reply to emails from unknown senders.
- Do not click on links, download apps or download attachments from unknown senders.
- Before you make an online purchase, research the company to determine its legitimacy.
- Verify a charitable organization’s authenticity before you donate. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website to learn how to verify a charity.
- Be aware that if offers or shopping deals sound too good to be true, they are probably false.
- Do not respond to communications about COVID-19 vaccinations. There are not any approved drugs or vaccines that are known to treat the virus yet. The FDA and FTC have sent warning letters to sellers of products claiming they treat or prevent the Coronavirus.
- Be skeptical of texts, emails and phone calls from sources that claim they are with the government or government agencies.
- Get information about government actions regarding COVID-19 from reputable sources. For the most current information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
(Sources: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission)
Protect yourself from COVID-19 scams
The Alabama Department of Insurance implements telework policy until April 6
Ways to help protect yourself from COVID-19
The Alabama COVID-19 Hotline