Beware of Coronavirus Scams!
Even in a global pandemic, there are always people trying to steal your money, personal information or your identity. Be mindful that cybercriminals are working hard to take advantage of people. Scams related to COVID-19 are the latest threat and we urge everyone to be vigilant and protect yourself.
Scams you might see
- Criminals may try to sell you “coronavirus insurance.” It’s a scam. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it likely is.
- Another scam is selling fake coronavirus treatments or questionable cures.
- You might get a robocall offering coronavirus test kits. This is an attempt to steal your money or personal information. Talk to a doctor if you’re sick or think you might need a test.
- Be wary of calls or emails warning you about problems with your insurance plan. Someone could be trying to get you to reveal personal information.
Ways you can avoid scams
- Do not answer calls or respond to texts from unknown numbers.
- Do not click on links in text messages. They could download malware on your phone or let criminals know they’ve found a possible target.
- Do not follow links or click on attachments in social media posts about virus “cures.”
- High pressure sales tactics are common indicators of a scam, as are requirements that payments be sent through a prepaid debit card, money order or gift card. Once money is sent, it is often difficult – if not impossible – to recover.
- Be wary if you’re being pressured to provide personal information. Never share your Social Security number, bank account or routing numbers, your health insurance policy number, or member ID number in an email, text, or phone call you didn’t make.
- Never provide personal identifying information to unsolicited telephone callers, through email, or to door-to-door salesmen claiming they need such information to ensure continued participation in Medicare or other government programs.
- If you want to donate to a charity, call them directly or visit their website. Links found elsewhere could be fakes, even if they appear to be from the charity.
- If you want credible information from reliable sources, you are better off going directly to known town/state/federal web sites to obtain this information.
- Beware of scammers creating fictitious insurance companies. Consumers who purchase "policies" from these fake insurers typically do not find out they have become victims until they go to make a medical claim, which is either unpaid or the insurer cannot be located. Before you write a check or sign an insurance policy contract, contact the Connecticut Insurance Department to verify that the insurance company and agent are licensed to conduct business in this state.
If you think you might have been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact your local law enforcement and report it. Your action could help someone else from being tricked.
To get answers to your questions or to file a complaint, contact the Consumer Affairs Department.