02 Apr Scammers Are Taking Advantage of COVID-19—Here’s What to Watch Out For
Every time there’s worldwide panic or confusion, someone will try to take advantage. So, as expected, the rise of COVID-19 has spawned an entirely different type of pandemic—one where scammers try to dupe unsuspecting victims. COVID-19 is impacting nearly every aspect of daily life, and this new crop of COVID-19 scams targets everyone from struggling business owners, to the elderly, to those in areas where transmission rates of the virus are high. Here are some things to watch out for:
With mandatory stay-at-home orders impacting more than 85% of the U.S. population, more and more people are staying in and ordering online. Combine that with a shortage of items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks, etc., and scammers have found an opening to exploit confused, frustrated, and desperate shoppers.
If you’re contacted by someone online or click through an ad claiming that a seller has in-demand products in-stock, be wary. Many are placing orders with these sites only to never receive their shipment.
Before placing an online order with a company you’re unfamiliar with, conduct a quick online search. Even if you’re confident that the site is legitimate, pay by credit card and keep your receipt in case you need to dispute the charge later.
Fake tests and cures
First things first, there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, so if someone contacts you claiming they have a “cure,” you’re talking to a scammer. These efforts mostly target seniors, because they are the most vulnerable, so be sure to alert elderly family members about these schemes and how to avoid them.
Some COVID-19 scams use information found online to create highly targeted attacks. You may receive a call from someone claiming that they’re treating one of your family members for COVID-19 but need payment for the treatment. If you find receive one of these calls, report it to the Federal Communications Commission.
Stimulus check scams
Because of the relief package recently passed by Congress, millions of Americans are expecting to receive a stimulus check in the coming weeks. Many are already receiving calls from scammers posing as government officials and asking for bank accounts details so they can “deposit the check.” These are NOT valid calls. When sending stimulus checks, the Treasury Department will use the direct deposit or address information they already have on file from your taxes. If you’re asked to provide banking details via phone, text, or email, do not respond. If you need more information about receiving your stimulus check, take a look at the IRS’s official FAQ.
Credit card processing scams
Credit card processing scams were prominent before the rise of COVID-19, but now they’re even worse. Businesses are being contacted by scammers claiming that their current processor is going to stop processing due to COVID-19, and that they urgently need to switch credit card processors. Conveniently, these scammers always offer to sign the recipient of the call up for their processing services right away. Recipients of these calls should hang up and contact their processor directly.
These are trying times, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an easy target for COVID-19 scams. For more advice on how to protect yourself, read Can You Spot a Phishing Email? Watch Out for These 3 Red Flags and 4 Tips to Protect Your Business from Credit Card Processing Scams.
If you receive any correspondence stating that we are discontinuing your processing services, please contact us at (800) 386-0711. We’ll answer, because we’re still here for you, and we’re not going anywhere.
BASYS Processing as a business partner
Does your current processor understand the unique struggles of your industry? Do they provide great rates and excellent customer service? Are they offering solutions to grow your business and being pro-active about helping you reduce risk and increase your savings? Contact BASYS today to learn more about innovative payment solutions that will save you time and money. We make accepting debit cards and credit cards convenient, safe & affordable.
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About BASYS Processing
BASYS Processing provides credit card and debit card processing services, and solutions that include terminals, virtual terminals, e-commerce, mobile, and point-of-sale, customized to fit any need. Banks, associations, and software partners depend on us to strengthen their reputations and relationships with their customers by providing remarkable service paired with ultimate flexibility and pricing. Merchants depend on us to make accepting credit cards and debit cards convenient, safe & affordable. BASYS was founded in 2002 on one philosophy: to take care of our merchants, partners, and employees so they never want to leave. We are dedicated to working one-on-one with our customers to design the perfect solution. BASYS is Personalized Payment Processing.
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