Fraud and COVID-19

With the world managing the effects of COVID-19, fraudsters are attempting to exploit those uncertainties with a variety of scams. There have been several reports which consist of:

* Fake cures for COVID-19 being sold online by individuals and businesses
* Phishing and cybercriminal scams targeting a largely at-home workforce
* Cybercriminals posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
* Malicious websites and apps sharing virus-related information to gain access and lock your device until payment is received
* Fraudulent donation sites for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations

It is likely that stimulus checks being issued under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will bring more fraud activity. We at First Citizens National Bank have seen an increase in customers falling for scams where they receive a counterfeit check. Oftentimes, you are asked to deposit a check of a large amount in exchange for a small nominal amount returned to the sender. This scam lures you to send the scammer money in hopes of receiving a larger amount. This will not be the case with the stimulus check.

Be cautious of any emails you receive, especially any links within your emails, as well as regular mail you might receive. You may wish to contact the company directly by searching for their phone number or contact info on the web. Or as always, if you have any question or concern, please feel free to reach out to us:

Stay healthy and safe!