March 11, 2020
Kellie M. Spawton
With the Coronavirus spreading daily, fraudsters have found new ways to capitalize by creating phishing campaigns that are designed to steal personal information and/or money. OceanFirst Bank is aware of the Coronavirus scams and remains dedicated to keeping you safe against them. Below are some scams you may see or have already seen regarding the Coronavirus:
“Your family member is in trouble” Scam
Someone may call, email, or contact you via social media advising that you have a close friend or family member who may be sick, or trapped overseas due to quarantines. They will ask you to send money using gift cards, wire transfers, online fundraising, or even cash.
Miracle Health Scam
If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure for the Coronavirus disease, it’s very unlikely you would see it for the first time in a sales pitch. Currently there are no vaccines, pills, lotions, lozenges, or any other prescriptions or over-the-counter products to prevent, treat, or cure the Coronavirus disease.
Cybercriminals are using the Coronavirus to try to get people to make donations. Scammers may try to contact you via phone, email or a social media message promoting awareness and prevention tips about the disease. They may also ask you to donate to victims, contribute to an unproven treatment, or contain malicious email attachments.
There have been recent online and social media promotions claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure Coronavirus disease and that the stock of these companies will increase dramatically as a result. The promotions take the form of so-called “research reports and make predictions of a specific “target price.”
Here are some tips that can help prevent you from being a victim of identity or money theft:
- Never give out your Online Banking credentials, full debit card number, or PIN to callers. Please note that OceanFirst Bank will never contact you requesting your personal information.
- If someone tells you a family member or friend is sick or in trouble, call them at the phone number you have for them and verify if they are okay. If you cannot get in touch, do NOT send money until you can.
- If you receive a deposit to your account or a check where someone asks you to send some of the funds back, buy gift cards and provide the numbers, or wire funds, it is highly likely to be a scam. Contact your bank for help in determining if it is a scam.
- Ignore online or phone offers for vaccinations.
- Don’t let anyone rush or pressure you into making a donation. If you would like to make a donation, please do your homework.
We encourage you to be mindful if you receive a phone call, email or a social media message regarding the Coronavirus disease. If you suspect that you are a victim of a scam, please contact your local branch or our Customer Care Center any time Monday through Friday 7am to 7pm or Saturday from 8am to 5pm.