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COVID-19 Fraud Alert

Please be aware that fraudulent activity is on the rise. Please read the important information below and stay on the lookout. Be smart. Stay safe!

Sadly, during time of crises, Fraudsters take advantage of our expectations, concerns and fears.  The current COVID-19 Pandemic along with the Government’s Stimulus Payments, changes in the Stock Market and Travel Cancellation are creating an increase in fraud.

The following are just some of the scams that we’re aware of:

  • Scammers sending emails pretending to be from well-known health organizations and including attachments or links which, if you click on them, can infect your computer and steal the personal information it contains.
  • Phone calls, presumably from the IRS, requesting your financial account numbers so that “your stimulus check can be deposited to your account.”
  • Advertisements to sell preventions or cures for the Coronavirus.
  • Contact from someone posing to be from an organization such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) or the WHO (World Health Organization), asking for donations or offering immunizations.
  • “Investment Opportunities” offering great returns.

Please be smart and realize:

WyHy – and other reputable institutions - will NEVER…

  • ask for your account number, username or password.
  • email attachments you didn’t ask for or didn’t expect.
  • ask you to visit a link outside of www.wyhy.org or another that you recognize.
  • charge money to apply for a job, register for a conference, reserve a hotel, or buy a “cure”.
  • conduct lotteries or offer prizes, grants, certificates or funding through email.

How to prevent this fraud (phishing):

  • Verify the sender by checking their email address. 
  • Make sure the sender has an email address such as person@wyhy.org.
  • Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (i.e., an address that should end in .gov ends in .com instead).
  • When in doubt contact the sender and ask them what the attachment, or link is about.
  • Don’t click on email links from sources you don’t know.
    Make sure your computer anti-virus software is up to date.
  • Be careful when providing personal information.
    Always consider why someone wants your information and if it is appropriate. There is no reason someone would need your username & password to access public information.
  • Do not rush or feel under pressure.
    Cybercriminals use emergencies such as we’re experiencing to get people to make decisions quickly. Always take time to think about a request for your personal information, and whether the request is appropriate.  Why do they need it?

If you gave sensitive information, don’t panic.

If you believe you have given data such as your username or passwords to cybercriminals, immediately change your password on each site where you have used them.

If you see a scam, report it.

You can report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.
The Department of Justice provides additional resources and information.  You can visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.