11 Investigates: Beware of coronavirus scams on the rise

Coronavirus: Organizations warn of increase in scams targeting seniors

Scammers are good at taking advantage of a crisis, and this is no different.

Organizations, like AARP, are reporting a significant increase in the number of complaints related to COVID-19, many revolving around health-care offers.

“They are trying to get you to pay money cash, or get your Medicare number so they can bill Medicare fraudulently. That’s a huge issue,” said Kathy Stokes, the director of fraud protection for AARP.

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Stokes said seniors are particularly at risk, but scammers target all of us with false offers ranging from at-home testing kits, to treatments and vaccines.

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"We're hearing about robocalls, where they say press a certain number or call me back email messages from a health care company or the federal government even a test message,” Stokes said.

Don't fall for it.

"If somebody is gonna try to get you to click on a link or a text, it’s most likely cause they want you to download malicious software onto your device look for bank account info, passwords, log ins -- that kind of thing,” Stokes said.

Another prime target -- trying to get a piece of those federal stimulus checks the government is sending out to more than 100 million people nationwide.

"They started coming up with their ploys even before the ink was dry on that law, calling to be from the federal government asking for bank account info to deposit the check,” Stokes said.

Remember, there's nothing you need to do to get your check if you qualify.

“Anybody calling you or contacting you saying they need info to get you or your check is a flat-out scam,” Stokes said.

Calls from people trying to play on your fears and get you to act now are red flags for someone trying to rip you off.

if you see something you think is a scam, you can report it to AARP Fraud Watch Network And the Federal Trade Commission.

Whether you’re a senior or not you can call the AARP helpline to report a scam or ask a question about a possible scam. The number is 1-877-908-3360.

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