Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus.

The United States Secret Service is proactively taking steps to alert the public about the types of email scams associated with the Coronavirus.

Cyber criminals are exploiting the Coronavirus through the wide distribution of mass emails posing as legitimate medical and or health organizations. In one particular instance, victims have received an email purporting to be from a medical/health organization that included malicious or infected attachments supposedly containing pertinent information regarding the Coronavirus.

Another emerging fraud scheme exploiting the Coronavirus is using social engineering tactics through legitimate social media websites seeking donations for charitable causes related to the virus. Criminals are exploiting the charitable spirit of individuals, seeking donations to fraudulent causes surrounding the Coronavirus. Increased caution should be exercised when donating to charitable organizations.

A third fraud scheme surrounds non-delivery scams. Essentially, fraudsters advertise as an in-demand medical supply company that sells medical supplies that can be used to prevent/protect against the Coronavirus. The criminal enterprise will demand upfront payment or initial deposits then abscond with the funds and never complete delivery of the ordered products.

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
• Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

Your deposits at Bank of the Pacific are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured. The FDIC is reminding Americans that FDIC-insured banks remain the safest place to keep their money. The FDIC is also warning consumers of recent scams where imposters are pretending to be agency representatives to perpetrate fraudulent schemes. During these unprecedented times consumers may receive false information regarding the security of their deposits or their ability to access cash.

The FDIC does not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information. The agency will never contact people asking for personal details, such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords.