To paraphrase Thomas Paine, “these are the times that try men’s (and women’s) wallets.” Many people are having financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which unfortunately makes them vulnerable to scammers eager to take advantage of their concerns. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning about emails being circulated that purport to come from the FTC that claim to offer much needed money from the “Global Empowerment Fund” to help people in financial need due to the Coronavirus pandemic. You are told that all that you need to do to qualify for a grant from the Global Empowerment Fund is merely provide your bank account information after which the Global Empowerment Fund will wire money to your account. Unfortunately, the FTC is not sending out such emails and there is no Global Empowerment Fund offering money to anyone. The scammers sending out these emails are merely trying to trick people into providing their banking information so that the scammers can empty their victims’ bank accounts.
The FTC will never contact you by email, text message or phone call and ask for personal financial information. It is also important to remember my motto, “trust me you can’t trust anyone” and never provide personal information of any kind in response to an email, text message or phone call without absolutely confirming that the communication is legitimate because you can never be sure when you are contacted by email, text message or phone call as to who is really contacting you. While some less sophisticated scammers will send emails using bots of infected zombie computers to send out such scamming emails that show the email address of the person whose computer was hacked to send out the email which is a clear indication that the email is a scam, other more sophisticated scammers will use email addresses to send out their phishing emails that appear quite legitimate. It is also easy to “spoof” a phone number for a text message or phone call that can appear to come from a legitimate source, so you can’t trust text messages or phone calls either.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide’s list of Coronavirus was recently featured in the New York Times as one of three best sources for reliable information on Coronavirus scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”