|Safety During Stay-At-Home Restrictions
As we continue to face challenging times due to the Coronavirus and as Florida remains under the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order, we all must continue focusing on criminal activity, fraudsters, and scammers.
Throughout the country there have been multiple reports of imposters posing as public health officials peddling fake cures, home virus inspections and “presidential ordered testing of seniors.”
Simply put, virus-related scams, fraud and outright criminal activities are on the rise in Palm Beach County and throughout North America.
Here in Juno Beach we have so far been fortunate. Our Officers have responded to very few calls fitting into the above categories – but this is no time to let our guard down. There are plenty of people out there ready to prey on our fears and confusion. Scammers and fraudsters look to us to make irrational decisions when we are afraid – so in many cases they are now one step ahead of us.
One of the most recent scams we have heard of is the “Coronavirus Stimulus Check Scam.” Fraudsters are calling or texting and asking to verify your Social Security number or Medicare account details. You can be assured that the US Government will NOT be calling and asking for that information.
There are also reports of criminals calling older Americans offering a supposed Coronavirus cure, vaccine or preventive medicine that’s covered by Medicare. They simply want your credit card number for a co-pay or to pay for the shipping of the product. Some say that the recipient’s Medicare Supplement or Advantage Plan will cover this medicine, but there needs to be verification of your Social Security number or bank account information. If you get calls like these, do not give out your bank account details, Social Security number, Medicare number or any other personal information
As more companies and legitimate businesses transition to working remotely, hackers are now posing as popular web conferencing applications trying to trick you into clicking an email link that will “activate your web conferencing account.” Be cautious of any email asking you to take action. These fraudsters are simply wanting to gain access to your device and then to steal your account information.
Yet another scam relates to federal income taxes. Pushing the federal tax deadline back to July 15th gives people more time to prepare as we deal with the Coronavirus fallout. It also means criminals have more time to execute their scams. Tax scammers may file a return in your name or contact you claiming to be the IRS. It’s important to know that the IRS will never contact you by phone before they’ve sent you multiple written notices regarding your taxes. If you have any questions about tax returns filed in your name or mail you received claiming to be from the IRS, call your local IRS office directly for verification.
Your Juno Beach Police Department is here, working hard to keep you safe – but we need your help and support. Keep a watchful eye out for not only physical criminal activity, but also for fraudsters, scammers and Internet hackers.
If you suspect criminal activity of any sort, call our non-emergency number – (561) 799-4445.
If it’s a current emergency, call 911.