Camden, N.J. – With the uncertainty, financial instability, and fear caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is sharing ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
“Stimulus checks are coming in as a way to help those who need it most, and that means there will be scammers looking for ways to get that money,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “These scams are designed to prey on people who are anxious, scared, and looking for help. We want to make sure we prevent people from falling victim to these schemes. Part of that is by being a partner in the New Jersey Attorney General’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force.”
If someone calls you claiming to be from the government asking for personal information to distribute your stimulus check, do not provide any information and hang up. The federal government does not reach out through the phone and only communicates through certified mail.
There are websites designed to look like a company selling cures or treatment for COVID-19, but detectives said there is no current cure or approved treatment and these pages are just looking to get money. Other websites claim to have important information regarding the virus and include links that install malware on your computer to steal information.
Another way scammers are looking to collect money is by circulating fake fundraisers or soliciting donations for a nonexistent charity. Investigators said if you want to donate to a person or organization, do some research first. Many employees are working from home and can answer an email or inquiry about the legitimacy of a fundraising campaign.
Other COVID-19 fraud activity includes price gouging or hoarding of personal protective equipment, medical equipment or medication.
If you believe you’re the victim of a COVID-19 fraud or scam, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.