Daily COVID-19 Scams (April 13)
Scams related to COVID-19 and/or coronavirus continue to bombard American consumers. Current scams include face masks that are purchased but never shipped, a fraudulent website masked as a Walmart Donation site, a Snapchat money scheme, bogus Medicare kits, fraudulent government funding and mandatory testing websites, a Craigslist scam, door-to-door government impersonators, price-gouging tactics, and fake stimulus checks. The attached spreadsheet provides additional details about these scams.
Current COVID-19 Scams
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Cyberbunkers have determined that a company named UrbanXMask is receiving payment for face masks and not shipping them to customers. Attempts to reach a company representative are unsuccessful. The BBB rates this seller an F.
- The BBB received a complaint that a consumer ordered multiple face masks from Healforce but never received them.
- The BBB verified a report that a consumer received a message on WhatsApp from Walmart. Victims suffering from COVID-19 would receive $250 for groceries if they submitted personal information to a fraudulent website, http://bit.ly/acupon-Walmart.
- A Lincoln, NE woman and her friend were both scammed on Snapchat by an individual who promised to wire them money if they were struggling financially due to COVID-19. After providing bank account information, the scammer wired $4,900 into the account but then required that the woman transfer $2,400 of it back. She was subsequently notified by her bank that the original deposit was not valid.
- The Federal Trade Commission reports that individuals posing as Medicare Representatives are calling seniors to offer "Medicare packages" or "Medicare kits." The scammer then requests personal data about Social Security, Medicare, and bank accounts.
- An individual reported to the BBB that a text message was received from 937-258-6203, offering to screen eligibility for COVID-19 relief funds. The message included a bogus website link.
- The BBB reports that individuals are continuing to receive texts from scammers masked as U.S. government officials. The text informs the recipients that they must take a mandatory online COVID-19 test and then provides a website where personal information is entered.
- A bike seller on Craigslist notified the BBB that he received an offer from a buyer named John Everett who could not conduct the purchasing transaction in person due to COVID-19. The buyer wanted to send a fake cashier's check by mail. Once cashed, the buyer would need to arrange for the bikes to be delivered to the seller. The seller would then be charged by the bank for the funds received from the fake check and the bikes would already be gone.
- The Florida Attorney General warns that scammers are dressing in lab coats, knocking on doors, and then asking for personal information or payments related to COVID-19 relief. Authorities in Massachusetts report similar concerns, with scammers also offering on-the-spot testing for a fee.
- Norkan, a Michigan supply company, was recently shut down by the Attorney General's Office for price-gouging. The company was selling packs of face masks at unfair prices.
- The Federal Trade Commission warns that scammers are mailing fake stimulus checks. After the checks are cashed, the scammers are contacting the individuals to inform them that they were overpaid and that they must wire the excess funds back to them. The bank also requires payment once the check is determined to be a fake.