Watch Out For These Scams Linked To COVID-19 In The Capital Region
The first really brazen scam that I remember that was related to the coronavirus was a fake COVID-19 drive through testing site set up in North Greenbush. These scammers were getting peoples' personal information and charging them for the fake tests. Some people were contacted by the fake medical team and told that they were COVID-19 positive and that they could come to their home to treat them. That's a scary situation and another reminder of why we have to be on guard when it comes to scams, especially during a time of crisis.
Here are a few other scams to look out for in the Capital Region. Some related to the coronavirus and some not related.
- National Grid and nyup.com are reporting that scammers are calling customers, most of whom are already suffering financial hardships due to the coronavirus, and demanding payment. The scammer tells the customer that their power will be shut off in 30 minutes if they don't pay immediately. The real giveaway that this is a scam is that they have you call a different number and they ask you to buy pre-paid debit cards to pay your overdue amount. If anyone asks you to buy a pre-paid debit card to pay anything...you should be suspicious.
- Stimulus checks and fake COVID-19 vaccines are favorite topics of scammers used to steal your information through phishing emails, text messages, and fake robocalls. According to Google some 18 million emails and phishing attempts were intercepted last month related to the coronavirus. Some were impersonating the CDC, WHO and the IRS. The best advice is that if something either doesn't look right or sounds too good to be true, it's probably a scam. Call the business directly to make sure it's legit.
- This last one going around the area isn't COVID-19 related, but it's just another example of scumbags taking advantage of you. In North Greenbush, Wynantskill, and other places around the Capital Region there has been a driveway paving scam going on for more than a week. According to the article at www.wnyt.com a scam paving company has been over-charging and not finishing work they have been paid for in the area. So be on the lookout for that scam too.
If you do think you're the victim of a scam you can report it to your local police or contact the New York Attorney General's office.