Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding COVID-19. Make sure you and your family members are familiar with these new scams.
Businesses are also being targeted by scammers. Please refer to the County’s Economic Development page for up-to-date, accurate information for businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) encourages business owners to be aware about scams tied to SBA loans and grants.
These may be in the form of telephone call, text message, email or computer pop-up.
- Scammer advises that they can get you moved up on the list to receive a vaccine for a fee
- Scammer requests your bank account information so that your federal stimulus check can be direct deposited into your account
- Scammer claims to have a vaccine and/or treatment for COVID-19 available for purchase
- Scammer requests personal or financial information offering financial assistance or relief
- Scammer stating that they are with James City County and requesting bank account information in order to provide financial assistance
- Scammer poses as a grandchild (or other relative) asking for money to be wired to assist with paying medical bills because they have COVID-19 and are hospitalized
- Scammer poses as someone from the Treasury Department offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments
- Scammer requests a donation to a fake charitable organization or to provide supplies to health care providers
- Scammer poses as someone from the CDC (via telephone or email) requesting a donation
- Scammer sends a text message indicating that they’re a contact tracer requesting you to click on a link or provide personal and/or financial information
Warning Signs of a Scam
- The telephone call, text message, email or computer pop-up was not solicited by you
- Solicitor requests unusual payment terms (for example, prepaid debit or gift cards or electronic wiring of funds)
- Solicitor requests your bank account information, personal information or credit card number
- The company or organization is unfamiliar to you (always know who your buying from)
- Solicitor instills a sense of urgency
To appear legitimate, scammers often imitate email addresses and websites and spoof telephone numbers; don’t use these as a method of verifying the validity of a request or offer.
Legitimate companies and organizations will not rush you into making a decision or providing information. Take time to think things through before responding. Do your own research. If you’re unsure, call JCC Police at 757-566-0112 before acting.
Unfortunately, scammers have not stopped their routine tactics either. For more information about common scams (not related to COVID-19), please visit the Police Department’s Fraud Alert page.
Also note: as many children are now transitioning to online schooling, it is a good time to talk with your child about internet safety. The FBI has issued a release warning parents about the increased risk of child exploitation.
- Better Business Bureau of Greater Hampton Roads
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Department of Justice
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Federal Trade Commission
- Food & Drug Administration
- Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force