Scammers prey on Kentuckians as coronavirus spreads

Scammers prey on Kentuckians as coronavirus spreads

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - The novel coronavirus also means new lows for scammers targeting Kentuckians, preying on fear and financial desperation.

The Elizabethtown Police Department has posted on social media that some in their community are already seeing a couple different types of schemes but have been calling them out.

“Individual said her government issued check was ready,” Elizabethtown PD Public Information Officer John Thomas said. “He just needed to deposit it directly into her bank account and he needed her bank account information. Very obviously a scam.”

That's because the bill that would approve stimulus checks hasn't been fully approved by federal legislators yet.

The House is expected to vote on it Friday, but even after that, before people pay someone or share their personal information, the Better Business Bureau recommends consumers do some fact checking by consulting trusted sources.

The IRS which would be in control of the possible rebate checks, said it will be updating its website with information if congress passes the measure.

In Etown, other phishing scams are targeting shoppers with fake grocery gift cards. One posted as an example by the police department even had contradicting amounts of award money listed throughout the message.

Officers said it was sent via a masked email address that could look legitimate to some.

Etown PD also issued a warning in a Facebook post earlier this month regarding fake testing kits:

“It has been reported to us that citizens are receiving calls from individuals claiming to be selling a COVID-19 test kit. At this time, these kits are available to health care providers only.”

Thomas adds that during a time when older folks, who are more vulnerable to virus, might be more isolated than normal but not connected digitally, it’s important to let them know what to look out for.

“Pass on the word to those who may not be connected to the internet or social media,” Thomas said. “Especially those in the elderly community. Let them know because this probably going to be a more common thing as we move forward.”

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