Coronavirus scams you need to know about

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Last Updated on April 5, 2020 by Mark P.

Scammers are always looking for new targets, and even though we are in the midst of a global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, scammers are still looking to do what they do best- take advantage of people’s good intentions and even their fears, and use it to steal their money.

Luckily, a recent report from WFMY News 2 has come out warning the public of the scams they are most likely to fall prey to, and how to prepare.

The report states that “North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has a warning for investors: the coronavirus pandemic means scammers will be trying to take advantage of you.” Marshall points out that “Sadly, scam artists will seek to exploit rising concerns about COVID-19 to draw people into investment traps,” and that “Fraudsters often use the days’ headlines in their pitches, so expect to see them prey on their fear surrounding the unfolding coronavirus pandemic and recent economic developments to promote sham investments.”

Here are some of the scams you’re most likely to encounter during this pandemic

  1. Private placements and off-market securities: “These schemes pose a threat to retail investors because private securities transactions are not subject to review by federal or state regulators.”
  2. Gold, silver, and other commodities: Scammers will use the threat of hyperinflation and unstable currencies to sell “fraudulent investments in gold, silver, and other commodities not tied to the stock market.” However, “scammers may conceal hidden fees and mark-ups, and the illiquidity of the assets may prevent retail investors from selling the assets for fair market value.”
  3. Recovery schemes: “Retail investors should be wary of buy-low, sell-high recovery schemes.” Some scammers will “begin promoting investments tied to oil and gas, encouraging investors to purchase working or direct interests now so they can recognize significant gains after the price of oil recovers.”
  4. Get-rich-quick-schemes: “Scammers will capitalize on the increased unemployment rate with false promises of quick guaranteed returns that can be used to pay for rent, utilities or other living expenses.”

These are just a few of the major scams people are being targeted with, but the key takeaway is that you need to be the front line and to protect your assets, do your own research, and trust your judgment if you feel something doesn’t seem right.

Another great tip is that the Federal Government has made it clear that they will never ask you for your bank account details, social security number or anything of the like in a situation like this.

For the full list of major scams stated by professionals, click here.

Have you experienced any of these scams? Let us know your story in the comments below.