It’s back to school season in the time of coronavirus, and for many families it means more working from home and attending school from home. Scammers will take advantage of this to scare people into thinking their device has been attacked by malicious software – a nightmare for workers and students alike.
August is winding down, which means the back-to-school season is upon us. With every change in season comes a potential for new scams. Scammers know that this a time when there is an increase in the number of purchases being placed for kids and grandkids. In this scam, they will send emails with a subject line such as “re: shipping info.” The subject line looks as though a company is sending confirmation of shipping details. But in reality, these types of emails may contain links to websites that download malware on unsuspecting shoppers’ computers. Keep your computer and your information safe by deleting vague messages from companies from whom you haven’t ordered or email addresses you don’t recognize. And be sure to keep your firewall and virus protection software up to date.
There are many amazing charities out there that benefit from donations. Unfortunately, scammers may try to capitalize on the generosity and good will of others by setting up fake charities and pocketing the donations. To ensure the organization you decide to donate to be worthy and doing the work they say, visit www.ftc.gov/charity for ways to verify charities. If you have doubts, there’s always the option to give directly to smaller local charities where you can more easily see the impact of your donation.
Individuals are not the only victims of scams. Scammers also target many small and local businesses, which costs them an estimated $7 billion a year, according to the Better Business Bureau. From receiving bills for supplies that nobody ordered, and being threatened to pay it, to paying for services that the business could otherwise get for free, there are many ways businesses may fall victim to a skilled scammer. The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau recently partnered to help stop these scams. Small businesses are a vital part of our economy, employing residents and offering services to the local community. Just as it is for individuals, a costly scam can be detrimental to the financial wellbeing of a small business.
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