As we navigate the new normal during this pandemic, there have reports about criminals who are seeking to take advantage of the vulnerable population during this time of need.
Here are some things to watch out for and to share with your loved one so that they don’t fall victim to heartless scams.
- Do not open your door to unknown visitors who claim to be there to help. Kasson, Stewartville, Rochester and the Twin Cities have already reported some issues with people showing up at houses claiming to be from the CDC and doing inspections for the Coronavirus. This is a hoax! Do not let these people into your houses. In these challenging times, it’s always good to be extra cautious. If you don’t recognize the person at the door, do not open your door. Leave a note on the door to let delivery people know that they can ring the doorbell and leave the packages at the door.
- Don’t open emails from people or organizations you don’t know or trust. Don’t click on any unfamiliar website links that you receive in an email, or any suspicious looking websites. Criminals are now pushing “Phishing scams” using website apps that pretend to track the coronavirus, but they infect and lock devices until payment is received, according to the FBI. One batch of emails sent to college students posed as official communications from University personnel offering bogus updates about closures and other coronavirus-related news. One of the most reliable sources for legitimate coronavirus-related information is this page from your state health department or your local health department.
- NEVER give out your credit card information or address over the phone. Criminals are making calls targeted at seniors and using creative ways to attempt to get your information.
There have been reports of scammers claiming to be:
- Charitable organizations
- Family members needing help
- Coronavirus testing kit company providing free resources to seniors
- A company providing hard to obtains supplies such as Tylenol, toilet tissue or cleaning supplies. These are just a few things that we’ve heard thus far.
If you feel that you’ve been a victim of attempted scam or fraud, you may contact Minnesota Fraud Hotline: Twin Cities metro: 651-431-3968 | Toll-free line: 800-627-9977 or visit them online.
Ebenezer’s goal is to serve as a resource and support to those in need who are living within our communities and outside of communities across Minnesota and Iowa. For Ebenezer updates information on COVID-19, visit this page.