Keeping your computer safe
(Thanks Brian McTeague)
Its hard to believe people use tragedy to cause further harm, but bogus corona trackers/dashboards are trying to look like the legitimate tracker/map from John Hopkins.
FRAUD ALERT: USDA Warns of Scams Targeting SNAP Recipients
Be on the lookout for potential scammers using the COVID-19 situation to steal personal information, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) warned Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants today. USDA is issuing this warning after receiving reports of several possible SNAP fraud attempts.
“While many organizations are seeking to help communities respond to COVID-19, SNAP participants should be suspicious of any unknown individual or organization that requests their confidential information,” said Brandon Lipps, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, which administers the SNAP program at the federal level. “This is a difficult time for us all, and we certainly don’t want to see bad actors taking advantage of those in need.”
Examples of confidential information include social security number, bank information, or a participant’s SNAP EBT card or PIN number. In one potential scam, a website asked SNAP recipients to enter their personal and bank account information to qualify for COVID-related monetary assistance.
If SNAP participants are unsure if a request for information is legitimate, USDA advises they contact their local SNAP office. If they do not know their local SNAP office, participants should contact their state agency. State contact information is available at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory.
To stay on top of potential scams, please visit USDA’s SNAP scam alert webpage at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/scam-alerts.
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local police department regarding procedures for filing a report. You may also file a consumer complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.ftc.gov. FTC is the federal agency responsible for protecting consumers from identity theft scams.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy.
Tips from Our Community Credit Union
1. The fake cure scam. Scammers are peddling bogus cures and vaccines. If you’re offered a drug or vaccine to fight coronavirus — especially by a company you’ve never heard of — you’re looking at a scam.
2. Phishing emails from the “World Health Organization” (WHO) and Internal Revenue Services (IRS). Scammers are sending out emails, texts and calls which appear to be from the WHO or the IRS, but are really an attempt to get you to share personal information.
3. Fake charities. Everyone wants to help those stricken by the virus, but be sure to check out the authenticity of a charity before making your donation.
4. Malicious websites. Scammers have set up websites full of information on COVID-19 with the intention of gaining access to your device. Don’t download any links or open attachments from non-reputable sources.
5. Fake funding scams. Criminals invent a “research team” supposedly on the verge of discovering a cure for COVID-19 — they just need your donation. Of course, all funds donated to this alleged team will go directly into the scammers’ pockets. Only donate to verified causes.
Tips from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA):
The IRS is not going to contact you by telephone to ask you for your personal identification or financial information in order to provide you with an economic impact payment.
The IRS will never contact you and ask you to make any kind of payment using an iTunes card, gift card, prepaid debit card, money order, or wire transfer.
The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text messages, letters, or any social media.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS asking for your personal identification or financial information in exchange for an economic impact payment, take the following action:
– Hang up.
– If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you with your payment questions.
- If you do not owe taxes, report suspicious communications on TIGTA’s website at www.TIGTA.gov, and follow the prompts to report IRS-related coronavirus scams.
Inspector General George encourages taxpayers to be alert to phone and e-mail scams that use the IRS name and logo. Forward suspected scam e-mails to . Do not open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails. Also, be aware of other unrelated scams (such as saying you are a lottery or sweepstakes winner) and solicitations (such as debt relief offers) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.