How to Spot (and Avoid!) COVID-19 Scams

1/22/2020 12:00:00 AM

Bell Bank News

Watch out for cyber criminals who are:

  • Pretending to be the FDIC, World Health Organization, Federal Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, hospitals, schools, banks and other affected industries and companies
  • Targeting consumers (including remote workers) via a variety of communication channels, including email, letters, calls, text messages, faxes, and social media
  • Asking for personal information, such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other details used to commit fraud or sell a person’s identity
  • Sending “work from home gifts,” which appear to come from employers and may include USB devices intended to infect your technology

You may receive false communications regarding the security of your money and your ability to access cash. Remember, Bell Bank will not contact you asking for personal details, such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords – so do not give them out, even if the communication appears to be legitimate.

Be wary of email and social media links. Cyber criminals are using this opportunity to lure you into clicking an email that will infect your computer, so always make sure the email is coming from a legitimate source. And if it seems suspicious, ask the sender before opening anything!

3 Ways to Stay Watchful

  1. Be suspicious of any emails asking you to check or renew your passwords and login credentials, even if they seem to come from a trusted source.
  2. Verify the authenticity of any email request through other means (such as calling or texting the sender). Do not click on suspicious email or social media links or open suspicious attachments.
  3. Beware of phone or email communications that convey a tremendous sense of urgency. Cyber criminals will often try to rush you into making a mistake.

The Federal Trade Commission also recommends:

  1. Hanging up on robocalls (a robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless a company has your written permission to call you that way)
  2. Ignoring online offers for COVID-19 vaccinations and home test kits (scammers are trying to get consumers to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent COVID-19)

If you’re unsure whether a communication from Bell is legitimate, call us. You can reach our customer service department at 800-450-8949 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT weekends.