Federal Trade Commission Warning Of New COVID-19 App Scam
Sigh. Scammers really aren't slowing down, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
The Federal Trade Commission is warning of a new scam circulating amidst COVID-19, this time involving popular new app WhatsApp and Facebook.
According to the FTC, this is how it works: WhatsApp and Facebook users get a message that looks like it is from a big name company, like Pepsi, Walmart and Target. The messages offer up financial help in the midst of the pandemic by giving away free things, coupons and grants. Clearly, these big name companies are not actually giving away these things but these scammers are making the messages seem legitimate enough for people to fall for them.
From there, you will be asked to click a link to cash in on your grant or coupons. You will be asked to enter personal information and then also asked to forward the message to several friends, which keeps the scam going. You may also be asked to take a survey instead of entering personal information.
Of course, this is a scam. Scammers are trying to collect your personal information for a phishing scam and also gathering your friends information as well. You can avoid becoming a victim to this scam by never opening messages from those you don't know. Take a few minutes to do your research and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
This scam is extremely similar to one that the Better Business Bureau just issued a warning about. The scam works in a similar way, but instead of posing as a business, scammers are pretending to be your friend, claiming they got big money from a COVID-19 grant.