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Your safety and well-being are our top priority. That includes your financial well-being. As news about COVID-19 evolves, there has been an increase in scams. We encourage all members to remain alert for suspicious communications—social media, phone calls, text messages, emails, etc.—now. As a reminder, First Financial will never request your Social Security information over the phone or via email. If you’re ever unsure about a First Financial communication, get in touch with us immediately using well-known contact information.
 

 

Scammers prey on your kindness during disasters

Wildfires raging out West. The hurricane season. Civil unrest. And all of this happening during a global pandemic that has claimed its own devastating share of deaths and cost people their livelihoods. In response to these events, the season of giving is starting even before the usual holidays, since we all just want to help where and as we can.

But shameless scammers want to help themselves to your money. Read more >

How can you spot a tech support scam

Are you getting pop-up warning messages on your computer screen? Or maybe a phone call that your computer has a virus? That may well be a tech support scam. But how do you know? And what do you do? Read more >

As we publish this post, a second stimulus package has not yet been finalized by Congress. While there’s a lot we don’t know, we DO know a few things about what scammers do when this kind of uncertainty is in the headlines. Read more >

What do COVID-19 scams look like in your state?

We’ve been telling you about the scams related to COVID-19. But now we can tell you even more about the scams happening in your neck of the woods. Just today, the FTC released state-specific data on COVID-19-related issues, which you can check out with just a few clicks of your mouse. Read more >

More FTC warnings about scam Coronavirus treatments

The FTC continues to seek out and warn sellers who peddle so-called Coronavirus treatments with no proof they work. If you see an ad that says a product can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19, stop. Think to yourself: if there’s actually been a medical breakthrough, am I really going to hear about it for the first time from an ad or sales pitch? The answer is clearly “no.” So train yourself to ignore those types of false ads.

Read more >

Is a scammer getting unemployment benefits in your name?

In a large-scale scam erupting in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits, using the names and personal information of people who have not filed claims. People learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer about their supposed application for benefits.

Read more >


How to avoid COVID-19 government imposter scams

Many of us are paying close attention to the guidance from federal, state, and local governments during this COVID-19 health emergency. Unfortunately, scammers are also paying attention. Some are even pretending to be affiliated with the government – just to scam you out of money.

Read more >


COVID-19 scams targeting college students

Hey college students: even though you’re likely far from campus, scammers are still trying to find you.

Read more >

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about contact tracing. It’s the process of identifying people who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, instructing them to quarantine and monitoring their symptoms daily. There’s no question, contact tracing plays a vital role in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. But scammers, pretending to be contact tracers and taking advantage of how the process works, are also sending text messages.

Learn More >>

If you’re feeling anxious about your financial health during these uncertain times, you’re not alone. That’s why the three national credit reporting agencies are giving people weekly access to monitor their credit report — for free.

Read more >

 

FTC warns 45 more sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments

Every day we are reading about researchers studying potential ways to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. However, at this time there certainly are no products you can buy online, or services you can get at a neighborhood clinic, that are proven to work. But that doesn’t stop some sellers from pitching products that claim to protect or heal you.

Did an ID thief steal your stimulus payment? Report it to us.

Do you think your economic impact payment has landed in the hands of an identity thief? You can report it to the FTC and the IRS at the same time. Here’s what to do.

Read more >

How to Identify, Prevent and Report COVID-19 Scams

Incidents of scammers looking to exploit the financial and emotional stress anxiety associated the COVID-19 pandemic are on the rise. Scams range from counterfeits to investment frauds, and expose victims to financial loss, identity theft, and a damaged credit rating.

Read More >>

Want to get your Coronavirus relief check?

You’ve probably heard the news by now – the government is sending out relief checks as part of the federal response to the Coronavirus. Scammers heard the same thing, and they’re hoping to cash in on yours.

Read More >>

Coronavirus stimulus payment scams: What you need to know

We know there’s been a flood of information and updates about the government’s economic impact payments, or so-called stimulus checks, lately. But quickly and safely moving massive amounts of money into the hands of those who need it is a big job with a lot of moving parts. We also know that the more you know about the process, the less likely you’re going to be tripped up by calls, text messages, or emails from scammers trying to steal your money or personal information. Here’s what you need to know about the stimulus payments and how to avoid scams related to these payments.

Read more >>

Avoid Scams While Finding Help During Quarantine

Older adults may be hard hit by the coronavirus – and scammers prey on that. If you or someone you know must stay at home and needs help with errands, you’ll want to know about this latest scam.

Read More >>

FTC sends more warnings to sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments

Last month, the FTC and FDA sent warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. Today, the FTC sent warning letters to 10 more companies.

Read more >

Other Resources

Stay Informed regarding COVID-19 from the CDC
image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)





Tips from the FTC

Tip #1:
Hang up on robocalls.

Tip #2:
Ignore offers for vaccination and home test kits

Tip #3:
Fact-check information

Tip #4:
Know who you are buying from

Tip #5:
Don't respond to calls, texts or emails about money from the government

Tip #6:
Don't click on links from sources you don't know

Tip #7:
Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC

Tip #8:
Do your homework when it comes to donations

Tip #9:
Watch out for phishing emails and text messages

Tip #10:
Stay in the know

Tip #11:
When you spot a scam, report it to the FTC