Camden, N.J. – The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is sharing more safety tips during the COVID-19 pandemic to help prevent people falling victim to scams.
Now that a stay-home order is in effect, scammers are getting more creative in their approach. On Monday, the United States Department of Justice issued a memo sharing the various ways people have been exploited.
One of the main ways scammers are trying to get money is through phishing emails that are designed to look like they’re sent from a government organization. When a person clicks on the link, malware infects the computer and the only way to remove it is through paying the scammer a fee.
If you receive an email that contains links, detectives said one way to protect yourself is to hover your cursor over the link so that it shows the address. If that address looks suspicious or doesn’t link to a .gov website, it’s best not to click it.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from a charitable organization soliciting donations, investigators said ask them for their federal employer identification number and contact information so you can hang up and verify its existence first before donating.
“Just because businesses are closed, doesn’t mean scammers stop trying to target people, especially the elderly who might not know all the ways to protect themselves,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “Use this time to talk to your family members about the risks of being scammed during the COVID-19 outbreak and educate them on the different ways they can respond.”
If you receive a call or email that is suspicious, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also report it to the FBI by visiting tips.fbi.gov.