What are Common Scams Private Investigators are dealing with during the COVID19 pandemic? (And how to protect yourself)
The encounter with COVID-19 has affected the entire world up to a worse point. Its existence abandoned the human’s life cycle and created disarray in the firmly settled systems of education, business empires, and organizations.
COVID-19 proved to be a downfall for the economic system by damaging all the physical organizations, either private or government. It has also given rise to digital life and normalizing the world online. It has also proved to be an opportunity for scammers who seek the right moment to strike people with loss. Scamming and stealing problems are not new. Our Private Investigators often caught scammers in Los Angeles way before the COVID-19 and are catching even more of them during the pandemic.
What are common scams during the pandemic?
How to protect yourself and your family from scammers?
We prepared a list of scams we’ve seen becoming popular during the pandemic. We also added tips on how to avoid becoming one of those scams victims.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only spread the deadly virus but also caused a lot of people to lose their jobs and resources. This was the right time for generous humanitarians to join hands together for charity purposes to bring equilibrium in the society, to some extent. But this was also a time for the scammers to approach people with good intentions to mislead them about the right way to do charity. These scammers fake to be an authentic charity organization. They show up with such credible reasons and win donor’s trust. They encourage people to make donations, then fly away with the charity money. You should find credible and reliable ways to make charity. You should never follow up an online charity advertisement or get influenced by a text message or email from any charity organization at first. To assure that your money is being used for good, you should question a lot about the charity organization and their terms of money usage. Also, before getting into any charity, you should do some research about the organization first. If you still feel any doubt, then definitely move towards any other reputable charity.
COVID-19 has been the reason for raising tons of money for online projects, and crowdfunding is one of the most used ways to raise money quickly. This is how thousands of people invest in projects or causes that they believe may prove beneficial later, and they would get rewarded for that. The process usually occurs through the Internet. Such investments remain risky and doubtful, especially if one is putting money without any legitimate reference. Make sure you check out the cause’s reputation and learn about its history. People should have a glance at the success and loss history of such cause and look for former participants to share their experiences. People should also remain conscious while providing personal information via the Internet.
Identity theft is one of the trending scams spreading in the U.S nowadays. Throughout COVID-19, it just got through the roof. There is no easy way to fight this type of fraud because the accessibility to people’s identities is very easy through Social Media. Scammers take advantage of it at its full. Identity theft has also created some new ways to use people’s identities that our PIs have recognized. To avoid becoming the victim of identity theft, it is very important to be careful while giving your data to websites, logging in somewhere, and even while entering data on your accounts. Make sure you are visiting the right websites and not some fake copy of the original website. Sometimes checking the URL in your browser can save you from such bad experiences.
Jobs and Business Schemes:
Doing business can be risky even with an established company. But, when things come online and through virtual means, it becomes even riskier. During the pandemic, millions of people lost their jobs, so online jobs were popping up everywhere; easy opportunities. People in need of a job or business are likely to get scammed easily. When it happens, they have no way to find the scammers and no way to report them. Thus, they have to take on the burden of loss. To secure oneself from such scams, it is essential to do your homework about an online firm before starting a job there. You can look for the company’s employees and ask them about their experience with the company. Even that is risky; are they real employees? Such fraudulent online companies can use your data, skills, and talent and even pretend to be you without it actually being you. They now have your info, your identity and sometimes even scam people out of bank info on how they should send you your pay!! Be very careful!
Junk-Mails & Unsolicited Calls:
Unsolicited emails, calls, and texts are a widespread scam. When you formally enter your email or number to some websites, they start reaching and suffocating your inbox. Most of them are likely to be promotional emails and messages, but scammers, indeed, can be behind it too. It is crucial to stay aware while opening such messages. You should not follow the instructions provided if you are unsure about credibility. Similarly, one should avoid answering unsolicited calls, as they may be a scam, and trace your IP addresses or locations unnecessarily. These calls and emails can be mean to reach out to your personal information.
Loan Modification Fraud:
Loan payment and mortgage modification are very sensitive matters that if encounters a fraud situation, it costs a severe loss. Due to the COVID-19 situation and because all the payments matter shifted online (even the deals that require in-person consultancy), this raised a bar of risk for safety payments and mortgage modification. Besides the pandemic situation, it is crucial to be alert while making such deals and paying or receiving a mortgage. People should have all the details about the person’s credibility they are making deals with online. Also, if you met such a scam, then you definitely should go to a PI for help to sort out the matter peacefully.
Scams Directed at Seniors:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the online scammers have a greater opportunity. Our Private Investigators in Los Angeles found that scammers often target senior citizens on purpose as they think of this generation to be clumsier at dealing with salesmen/women. They expect seniors to be easily attainable targets, especially in online dealings. However, this is where the family’s duty should be to keep a check on what their senior members are doing online; buying and/or selling, and make sure no one is taking advantage of their innocence. As well, seniors themselves should not be hesitant to ask for help. Seniors should seek advice when trying to navigate these new systems.
Tax Preparation Resources & Tax Fraud Scams:
Tax fraud has risen in previous times, and it also uses identity theft to trouble, innocent people. Due to COVID-19, all the tax payments and tax preparers switched to working through the Internet. This is a golden opportunity for scam artists to show off their skills by hacking the identity and redoubling the identity to get refunds on the paid taxes. To be safe from such scams, it is highly recommended that you make sure that the preparer has an IRS preparation tax identification number. If any fraud element is emerging or you even doubt your tax preparer identity, reach out to our Private Investigators immediately!!
Tech Support Scams:
It is one of the newest common types of scams that reach you through calls or by spamming your inbox or mailbox. Typically, the scammer sends a fraudulent message or even calls you to convince you that you have some technical system and usage issues. It is imperative to stay away from such frauds as they can steal your data and even make you believe you are in trouble and paying invalid taxes and bills by giving false reasoning.
By having a broad view of the scams mentioned above, you can estimate the widely prevailing scams around you. It is imperative to be safe from all these scams to prevent the stealing of our personal information, money, property, and reputation. For this purpose, we need to keep ourselves updated about safety and acknowledgment of new measures. This is a reliable way to protect ourselves and our families from such awful scams, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and afterward.
If you have any doubts or think that you were the victim of such scams, it is better to talk to one of our Private Investigators in Los Angeles now.