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National Senior Fraud Awareness Day 2020

by Bob Burke, BankWest Fraud Risk Manager

Friday, May 15, 2020

senior with cellphoneToday is National Senior Fraud Awareness Day, an ideal time to share updates from the Federal Trade Commission on prevalent COVID-19 scams that affect our customers. Even in South Dakota and the Midwest, we are not immune to fraudsters.

Unfortunately, during times of emergencies fraud attempts may increase. Malicious people will look to use these circumstances to steal your data, your identity, or your money. In order to help you protect your information during this emergency, here are some important tips to consider:

  • Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time.
  • Be wary of ads for test kits.The FDA recently announced approval for one home test kit, which requires a doctor’s order. But most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA, and aren’t necessarily accurate.
  • Hang up on robocalls.Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations.Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.

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