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Be aware of Scammers

Crooks are taking full advantage of people's fears during this unprecedented time. According to the AARP website, here are a few of the scams going on.

1. Fake COVID-19 testing sites are popping up. If you are interested in getting tested, consult your trusted physician. She can direct you to a legitimate testing site.

2. Stimulus check scams: If you get a call, email, text or social media message saying the Internal Revenue Service needs money or some personal information before sending your income-tax refund or stimulus payment, don't respond. It's a scam. The IRS isn't going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic-impact payment or your refund faster. That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don't open them or click on attachments or links.

3. Fake cures/vaccines: Scammers are using texts, emails and phone calls to pitch cures and vaccines for the coronavirus. The Feds recently shut down a website peddling fake vaccine. Again, check with your personal physician.

4. Fake job scams: You're contacted about what sounds like the job of a lifetime and even given a check to cover expenses - just wire money back or send gift cards to cover fees. Only later do you figure out the check is fake. Real jobs don't come at a cost (actual recruiters are paid by the business).

5. Census scams: Impostors could pretend to be census takers. You could be asked for your Social Security number or credit card information. A fake census worker shows up at your door. Or you're contacted by phone, mail or email. The Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, solicit donations or threaten you with arrest if you don't cooperate. Census takers carry government IDs. For more information, visit

6. Phishing scams: Scammers pretend to be Amazon representatives and you'll be told a package can't be delivered until you "confirm" your credit card number. Usually this is done through a random email. Within the email is a link that, if opened, places malware on your computer to harvest data. Don't give information via a link. Go to Amazon's website directly.

Here are some best practices:
• Don't send gift cards as payment or buy gift cards for someone you don't know.
• Don't cash checks for strangers.
• Don't provide account or personal information via phone, email or text.
• Never trust caller ID.
• Don't give a random caller your personal information.
• Don't pay upfront for a promise.
• Don't click on unsolicited links or attachments sent via email or text.
• NEVER give a random, unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.