How to protect yourself from the huge spike in COVID-19 scams

As if the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t hit consumers hard enough, there’s a huge spike in scams related to COVID-19.

Consumer Reports reveals ways to spot them and protect yourself and your wallet.

Scammers are very creative; they come up with all sorts of ways to prey on people, even in a pandemic.

In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has recorded over 59,000 coronavirus and stimulus-related complaints, with losses totaling over $74 million.

Consumer Reports says to watch out for these coronavirus scams.

Although no cure or vaccine has been approved to treat COVID-19, that hasn’t stopped fraudsters from trying to sell phony remedies like teas, essential oils, and intravenous vitamin-C therapies.

Financial scammers say they can speed up your stimulus payment check. Be wary of any type of robocall or email that uses the term “stimulus” and asks you to provide personal information like your Social Security number.

And then there are phishing scams from fake websites that may have “coronavirus” or “covid19” in their domain names.

You should be very vigilant about sharing personal information if you didn’t initiate the contact.

And when it comes to credit card fraud, CR says to sign up for push notifications and check your credit reports.

The big three credit reporting agencies are offering free weekly online reports through next April. Go to annualcreditreport.com for details.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. Fo