Police Chief

Ask the Chief

“Ask The Chief” is a weekly post allowing readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in the city of Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance our community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs, and the Department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us. 

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Apr 13

April 13, 2020 - Coronavirus Scams

Posted on April 13, 2020 at 8:25 AM by Kate Berg

April 13, 2020

Ask the Chief

Q: What are the current scams related to the COVID-19 emergency?

Bingo board with various scam possibilities in each square

A: Great question!  Scammers love to play off your fears and always present you with a “pay now, before it’s too late” type of solution. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that Americans have lost $1.7 million to scammers since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and that number is low, as many victims are too embarrassed to admit to being scammed and fail to report the loss. If it sounds too good to be true, it is most likely a scam! Protect your personal information--social security numbers, bank accounts, dates of birth, Medicare/Medicaid numbers are just some of the personal information that you should never give out over the phone, especially if you are not sure to whom you are speaking.

Current scams related to the Coronavirus Pandemic (to name a few) are:
• Grandparent scam – new play on an old scam, where someone calls and claims to be your grandchild and they are sick in the hospital and need you to send them money.
• Coronavirus testing kit OR Personal Protective Equipment to be covered under your Medicare/Medicaid and the caller is asking for your coverage number.
• Stimulus check is ready to be sent, we just need your bank account information…
• Undelivered goods, such as hard to find cleaning supplies that we can send if you just give us payment information in advance and the items will be shipped….
• Fake charities, wherein a caller claims to be with a local non-profit and is asking you to donate to help those in need.  Do not fall for it; if you wish to donate, contact your local non-profit that you trust.
• Scammers offering to help with running errands and then running off with your money with no delivery.
• Overpayment, we sent you a stimulus check, however, our finance section overpaid you and we need you to deposit the check and send us back the overpayment.
• Robocalls and phishing attempts are also up, if you receive a robocall, HANG UP, and if you receive a phishing email (may look legitimate, however, the response email or link will look suspicious, such as a major company using a gmail response, etc.) do not click on the links, and delete immediately.

Better to be safe than sorry during this time of national and state emergency; do not give your personal information and hang up or delete emails. To help make people more aware of the scams that are currently going around, the Federal Trade Commission created a “Scam Bingo” available on the RWPD Facebook page, or at the FTC reference link listed below.

If scammers contact you, you can report it to the FTC. If you suffer a financial loss, report it to your local law enforcement agency by calling 911. Stay aware, stay safe, and stay healthy!

References and Resources:

1. Federal Trade Commission, Coronavirus Scams, located online at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts

Please Note:

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