COVID-19 text message scam making the rounds

PITTSBURGH — It starts with your first and last name, but a COVID-19 relief text message can easily end in damage to your personal information and bank account.

“What kind of damage can this text message do?,” asked Channel 11 Reporter Joe Arena.

“Ya know, COVID-19 relief scams with malicious links can do everything from infect your cellphone to try to dupe you into offering up information about yourself that can be used to conduct identity theft,” said cyber security expert Neil Daswani. “These scams are targeting anyone and everyone that might be experiencing financial challenges in the midst of this pandemic, which is a lot of people.”

There are some easy things to do to prevent being duped. The first thing is to never click a link that has been texted to you. Instead, find out where the message came from and check it out online. The link may not be real.

Any kind of COVID-19 stimulus relief payment will either be electronically deposited or sent to you in the mail in the form of a check.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Daswani said.