The COVID-19 pandemic has led to shameless opportunism among scammers. They are targeting you using coronavirus fears and concerns to try and take your money.
Here are two scams you need to watch out for in North Dakota:
Work at home scam. The North Dakota attorney general is warning about scammers who are taking advantage of the unemployment crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the scammers are creating phony websites that offer fake work-from-home opportunities.
Victims are lured into the scam with a spam email or online ad and, after completing an applications, they are offered a bogus quality control or inventory inspection job.
Stenehjem says participants are actually being used to receive and ship stolen merchandise and could be caught up in a crime. He says one scam website, Nimcare Insurance, uses a Bismarck street address, but the company doesn’t exist.
Contact tracer scam. North Dakota Information Technology reports people claiming to be contact tracers are calling unsuspecting people and asking for personal information. It has been reported around the country but not yet here in North Dakota.
Still, to pre-empt trouble, the technology department reminds residents if you do get a call from someone saying they’re a contact tracer, a legitimate one will not ask for your Social Security number, bank or credit card number or insurance info.
If they do, hang up and contact the North Dakota Attorney General’s office or local law enforcement to report the scam.
On a positive note, it appear robocalls are down, thanks to the impact of the coronavirus.
COVID-19 has inflicted millions of job losses, and scammers have not been immune. One robocall industry expert said robocalls from India dropped by half when the pandemic lockdown went into effect.
Complaints about unwanted calls are also down.
Still, keep in mind there are still plenty of scams out there, and experts say the robocallers will probably be back in force once the shut-down call centers come back online.