Many businesses have closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and now, many employees are either working from home, or out of work for the time being.
Some, however, aim to prey on the uncertainty or worry that has resonated through many, looking to make a quick dollar off of the global health crisis.
That’s why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to help people spot some of those scam calls they may be getting, by offering a familiar activity that will also help spread the word to help protect others throughout communities.
The FTC has made a “Scam Bingo Card,” which can be used to check off scammers you spotted, along with the steps you took to stop them.
According to the FTC, scams related to the Coronavirus are growing.
Some scammers are promising that you can refinance your mortgage or get student loan debt forgiveness – for a fee, of course. You might spot phishing scams, where scammers try to get your Social Security number or financial info – maybe to guarantee you access to a COVID-19 vaccine – though no such vaccine exists as of now.
Some may even say they’re with Medicare, with the CDC, or the Social Security Administration, while some scammers might even still be running some of their go-to favorites: tech support, utilities, or lower-your-interest-rate scams.
“Want to avoid and help warn others about scams like these? Print out or save this bingo card. Share it on social media (#FTCScamBingo) and ask your friends to play along. Then, as you take a step to avoid a scam, or you spot one of these scams (or write in your own), mark it off. When you have bingo, share it with the FTC on Facebook (@FederalTradeCommission) or Twitter (@FTC). You’ll be helping the FTC – and others – know what’s going on,” FTC said on their website.
(FTC Scam Bingo Card: Printable PDF Link)
Even if you don’t play bingo, please report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.
Learn more about Coronavirus scams at ftc.gov/Coronavirus.