Officials: Spot scams and protect the community

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Credit: FTC Facebook Page

WASHINGTON (WLNS) – Not all heroes wear capes, some wear sweatpants and work from home.

During the Coronavirus outbreak, many people are working from home and it might be the first time in a long time you’ve had to answer calls from an unfamiliar phone number like a co-worker’s cell phone or client making a house call as well as a robocall or scammer.

#FTCScamBingo is an easy way to be a local hero by spotting scam calls, taking the right steps to stop scammers, and spreading the word to help protect others in your community.

How to Play: Print out or save the bingo card below and ask your friends to play along. Then, as you take a step to avoid a scam, spot a scam or fill in your own for a scam you’ve encountered, mark it off. When you have bingo, share it with the FTC on Facebook (FederalTradeCommission) or Twitter (@FTC). You’ll be helping the FTC and your community know what’s going on.

Credit: FTC

Scams related to coronavirus are growing, including “promises” to refinance your mortgage or get student loan debt forgiveness, for a fee.

You might spot phishing scams, where scammers try to get your Social Security number (SSN) or financial info to “guarantee” you get access to a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a press release from the Federal Trade Commission.

The caller might say they’re from Medicare (they are not) with a health kit, from the CDC (again, they are not) with a vaccine kit, or the Social Security Administration (not true), telling you there’s a problem with your SSN (there is not).

While some scammers might even still be running some of their go-to favorites: tech support, utilities, or lower-your-interest-rate scams.

Even if you don’t play bingo, please report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. Learn more about Coronavirus scams at ftc.gov/Coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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