PSP warns of coronavirus-related scams

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FILE – This Sept. 12, 2018, file photo shows an Apple iPhone XR on display at the Steve Jobs Theater after an event to announce new products, in Cupertino, Calif. Security experts are calling a newly announced security vulnerability the worst yet affecting Apple’s iPhone. Google researchers say the mere act of visiting a small group of malware-infected websites was enough to allow attackers to steal sensitive information from iPhones, including text messages, photos and real-time location data. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Pennsylvania State Police are warning Pennsylvanians to watch out for scammers in light of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed in late March.

Police detailed some examples of scams going around. These include:

  • Emails claiming to be from United States government agencies asking for personally identifying information so the victim will receive their deposit. These emails may have poor grammar and spelling and links that may contain malware that, once installed on the victim’s computer, steal information.
  • Texts, robocalls, or messages on other platforms containing links directing victims to a website that prompts them to enter their personally identifying information and other information, such as bank account information, usernames, passwords, and email addresses.
  • Callers who claim to have information on “secret” government programs or who offer to help with applications in exchange for personally identifying information and a fee.

Some recommendations police offer to prevent being scammed include:

  • Not giving banking or other personal information to anyone who requests it to make a “stimulus payment.”
  • Not giving money or personal information to anyone claiming to have information about government programs.
  • Make sure your computer has the latest updates and ensure it has an antivirus program. Delete any email from people you do not recognize or has attachments you are not expecting.

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