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How American scammers change tricks during coronavirus pandemic

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How American scammers change tricks during coronavirus pandemic

The pandemic affected not only all of us but also the fraudsters. In the work of a fraudster, it is important to always be able to adapt to the situation. Today, American scammers no longer offer trips to Hawaii for free but free coronavirus tests, vaccination or even cheap health insurance.

"This is an automated message alert from the Worldwide Health Organization to inform you about our program for the coronavirus protection. We offer you the opportunity to obtain the the strongest protective equipment to protect yourself and all your family members. For more information please call X-XXX-XXX-XXXX."

This is one of the messages people received during the first wave of the American pandemic. The main rule of fraudsters is to make the information look likely. The second rule is that people are more likely to respond to messages that mention family or loved ones. Have you ever responded to such a message?

According to CNN one of American robocall, sponsored by the Support American Leaders PAC, uses a recording of President Donald Trump and asks callers to sign a petition to ban flights from China. The group is not affiliated with Trump and, unlike most other super PACs, doesn't raise money for advertisements to support Trump, either. It mostly raises funds to pay for more robocalls, which are used to raise more funds, with the owner of the group pocketing the difference.

Due to recent events and the huge confusion surrounding the pandemic, people do not know what to believe. Consumers are advised by federal agencies not to pick up the phone if it is an unknown number and not to engage with the robocall if they do. They can also block the call using software or a service from their phone provider and report an unwanted or illegal call to the Federal Trade Commission.

"Please listen to this message. The federal government has dropped prices on health insurance. Please press one now for the detailed information."

Some scammers try to convince you with health insurance. If the person presses 1, they will be transferred to a call centre. Then a real person will start talking to you and they will try to persuade you to buy something by passing your credit card information.

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As a rule, fraudsters often pretend to be an official institution. According to CNN the overall number of robocalls is going down, while the number of legitimate robocalls from government officials, hospitals and schools is on the rise with information for the public. What does this mean for ordinary citizens? Obviously, not every call from the official institutions could be a scam.

In practice, this means that we need to pay more attention to incoming calls and SMS from unknown numbers. Experts recommend using special applications that identify these calls and then block them. For example, you can use Numbo app to identify all suspicious calls and block them automatically. The application itself detects whether it is a scam or a real phone number. In addition, you can search our database for numbers so that you can reply to an SMS or call back.

Scammers most often work with current information, they are trying to get your attention with hot topics. A classic example is winning the lottery - you get the SMS with information that you have won the lottery. According to the USA Today during the coronavirus pandemic, new types of phone scams have arisen including promising tests and cures, expedited stimulus payments, and texts about COVID-19 support and pandemic tracing. 

Ready to get rid of spam? Try out Numbo for iOS, or Octocaller for Android and enjoy a spam-free life.

#call blocker
#spam
#spam calls
#robocalls
#call centers
#coronavirus
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