As if dealing with business shutdowns, wearing masks, and the general annoyance that this pandemic has brought us wasn’t enough, now we have to worry about more scams. Hackers and thieves have resorted back to some good old-fashioned tricks, but there are some new ones popping up that might surprise you.

Do not respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government. Some new scams are offering “help” to get an expedited stimulus check. The government doesn’t work that way, never has, never will.

Disregard robocalls about illegal use of your social security number. The automated calls say your account has been suspended and sometimes makes mention of an arrest warrant. I received such a call a few weeks ago and when I called back the local number and challenged the man on the other end, he hung up. Crisis averted!

Ignore emails that offer vaccinations or home testing kits. Some are even touting that they have the blood and saliva of Covid survivors! Many of these emails contain a link that will install Malware on your computer so it’s best to just delete them without opening them. They may even appear to be from a legitimate organization but they are not. No home testing kits have been approved by the FDA as of yet so this is a scam to try to get your credit card information. Other identifiers of a scam email are grammar and spelling mistakes, a generic greeting, or a suspicious email address as the sender.

The other type of robocall popping up are those offering low-priced health insurance, large prizes won, or a work-from-home scheme. Hackers and scammers are working overtime these days to prey on those negatively affected by the pandemic.

When in doubt, delete the email or block the call. It’s better to be safe than sorry!