Growing concern over scams during pandemic

Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 02, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - According to a recent study from Zelle, people have grown more concerned about being targeted by scammers during the pandemic.

And with good reason.

Scammers have used people's isolation and fear to find new ways to target them.

At the beginning of the pandemic, that included scams involving hard-to-find PPE and cleaning supplies.

Now we're seeing it with COVID-19 vaccines.

"Scammers are preying on that isolation, that bit of elevated fear that we all have right now," said Donna Turner, Chief Operations Officer of Early Warning, the network operator behind Zelle, "so it's more important than ever that we think about those red flags."

One of the most important - if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Turner says we should all take a step back before sending money anywhere, only send money to people you know and trust and do some research.

That includes donating money to charities.

"People want to help their neighbors. They want to help their community, but go out of channel. Take that minute, research that charity, research who you want to give money to, look at the Better Business Bureau, just do some googling," advised Turner.

Another way to protect yourself, set up two-factor authentication on your online banking account.

According to Zelle's study, only 59% of Boomers have it set up compared to 76% of Gen Z.