Recognize . Protect . Report | COVID-19 Fraud
By Luz Padron
Published on June 3, 2020
As the nation bands together to fight coronavirus, there are individuals and organizations operating around the globe seeking to exploit and profit from the pandemic.
From financial fraud schemes targeting vulnerable populations, to importing prohibited pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to websites defrauding consumers, these illicit activities compromise legitimate trade and financial systems and endanger the public at a critical time.
Below you will find information provided by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), that will help you recognize, protect and report fraud related to COVID-19:
ONLINE SHOPPING RED FLAGS FOR MARKETPLACE AND WEBSITES
- Do not click on unsolicited emails or text.
- Ensure a secure browser connection: HTTPS only.
- Verify website trust seals before placing an order.
- Official U.S. Government websites end in .GOV
- Inspect the URL of the website and verify the destination.
FINANCIAL RED FLAGS RELATED TO COVID-19
- Beware of emails, text messages or calls offering goods, services loans or debt relief.
- Beware of requests for unusual payment methods, such as cryptocurrency, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, money service business (MSB) transfers or wire transfers.
- Government Agencies do not call, text, or email: check your mail, do not follow links on social media, and utilize government websites directly.
- Government Agencies will not call or email about economic impact payments and will not refer to it as “STIMULUS” – do not open such email or click on attachments.
PROHIBITED PHARMACEUTICALS AND MEDICAL DEVICES RED FLAGS
- Beware of websites or individuals selling products alleging they can prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19.
- Currently, no COVID-19 test kits are authorized for private sale to individuals. Authorized COVID-19 tests are only being distributed to medical professionals.
- Beware of pharmaceutical product information written in a foreign language or with misspellings.
- Don’t buy prescription pharmaceuticals from third party marketplaces or social media platforms.
ONLINE SHOPPING TIPS
- If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be aware of price gouging.
- Verify purchases are from legitimate, trusted sources.
- Report covid-19 fraud to email@example.com.
PROHIBITED ITEMS TIP
For more information, please visit www.ice.gov. Report covid-19 fraud to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to always contact Banesco USA to report any suspicious account activity or information security-related events.
To contact a Banesco USA Client Care Specialist call toll-free from:
Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM