Common Coronavirus FraudsLeave a Comment
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the United States, both federal and state governments are taking steps to provide economic relief to Americans, as well as work to find an adequate cure. With the rise of news about COVID-19, many coronavirus-related frauds are appearing around the world — leading many people to fall victim to false cures, phishing, and other scams. Proceed with caution if you encounter an offer that may be a coronavirus fraud.
#1: Stimulus Scams
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the United States federal government provided $1,200 stimulus payments to qualified Americans. However, many individuals are taking advantage of these widespread payments to attempt to scam check holders out of these payments.
You may receive a call or email from a government agency, asking you to provide personal information such as your Social Security number in order to process your payment. They may also ask you to sign over your check for some reason.
It is important to know that the Internal Revenue Service will not call or email you to verify financial information in order to receive your stimulus payments. If you receive a call, hang up. If you receive an email, do not open them and do not click on any links or attachments.
#2: Fake Products and Cures
Experts have yet to create a cure for COVID-19, and while many promising options are currently under investigation, no approved products exist. However, you may hear about certain medications that may help stop the disease, or other products that purport to boost your immune system or protect you against the virus. These may include essential oils, teas, colloidal silver, and many other bogus cures.
The truth is that no coronavirus treatment or cure currently exists beyond the standard care that healthcare professionals are administering to patients with COVID-19, which focuses on alleviating its symptoms. The Federal Trade Commission stated no vaccines, lotions, lozenges, or any other over-the-counter products exist to treat or cure COVID-19.
#3: Phishing Attacks
Many websites operate across the internet that pretend to represent a credible organization and promise a cure or some type of financial aid related to COVID-19. They may ask you to enter your personal information or download an attachment in order to receive valuable information or to sign up for a service.
If you contact or provide your information to these dangerous sites, you could receive phishing emails from the people behind these operations. They may look legitimate and like they could be from a government agency or trusted business. Downloading attachments or opening links can lead to an attack that puts your personal information at risk. Be careful when encountering COVID-19 related information on the web.
How Can an Attorney Help with a Fraud Charge?
Facing fraud charges can be an intimidating experience. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Tacoma can help you navigate this process, providing a number of benefits for your case.
- Your lawyer will use his or her network of resources to launch a full-scale investigation into your claim and gather the evidence necessary to build your defense.
- Entering a courtroom can be intimidating — your lawyer will prepare you for all upcoming court dates and advise you on your best legal options.
- You need a strong knowledge of Washington fraud law and defense strategies to build a compelling case. Your fraud attorney has the training and skills necessary to represent your best interests.
If you are facing criminal charges for fraud in Washington, contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to examine the facts surrounding your arrest, launch a full-scale investigation into your case, and craft a compelling defense in your favor. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.