$2 Trillion. Today the President signed the largest spending bill in history to fight Covid-19 and already the public and lawmakers are clamoring for more aid. The economic hardship and unemployment wrought by Covid-19 will lead to record levels of fraud and consumers who do not take these precautions will become victims of identity theft.
“Support2020” Thanking our Members
As the evolving effects of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) unfold in our communities and around the world the MyProfyle team continues to work to protect our members and enterprise customers from fraud and identity theft. We are very appreciative of the trust you put in us each day. In these challenging economic times for many, we are announcing an offer code “Support2020” which allows Basic members to try upgrading to one of our Premium tiers for added identity protection at no obligation for 90 days at no cost.
While many companies located in Chicago where we are headquartered have suspended operations we have continued to work. Working in cybersecurity, MyProfyle is classified as an essential industry and we continue to function, supported by our diligent staff. We are working remotely in many cases and striving to bring you outstanding customer service without interruption. If there is a hiccup, we appreciate your understanding as we do our best to serve you whether you are a free member or one of our Fortune 100 clients.
Scammers Follow the Money
In our blog last week, we talked about the sad wave of Covid-19 scams that was starting to arrive as evidenced by the CovidLock malware app that takes over your smartphone. Scammers take advantage of fear, urgency and ignorance and a new threat like Covid-19 supplies all three in spades. We are all afraid of an unknown health threat and an economic threat.
Just like the people stocking up on toilet paper, we all feel the need to just “do something right now” even if it doesn’t make complete sense. That’s a perfect recipe for anyone trying to convince you to provide your personal information to get tested for Covid-19 or obtain your $1,200 government check or reserve the last box of N-95.
There will be many, many scams in the coming months and the bad guys are endlessly creative but part of defending yourself from them is arming yourself with good information so you are not afraid or ignorant. There will be more scam websites and apps sprinkled in among the legitimate ones put out by companies and organizations that want to provide legitimate resources to consumers. A few great ones that I have found include:
- Apple’s Covid-19 Screening Tool which helps you determine if need to get tested for the virus
- Kinsa’s interactive, real-time fever map showing where users of its home thermometers are recording fevers that are beyond what would normally be expected during cold and flu season
- Washington Post’s coronavirus simulator that does the best job visually explaining how viruses spread, why containment doesn’t work but why both social distancing and flattening the curve are so important all while making it all look like a game of pong (1970’s reference!).
- Johns Hopkins’ Covid-19 Tracker of global and regional cases and deaths
- Visual Capitalist’s list of several additional useful Covid-19 websites and resources
New Twist on Traditional Crimes
Remember a few basic things. Government agencies don’t call you or send you emails asking for your SSN or banking information. If they do, you can contact them back at information you verify separately by going to the appropriate website, like when you go to the US Census website after receiving a notice in the mail. No one will call you and tell you your government check is ready but they just need your bank account information so they can send it to you. I promise!
Apps that provide you with useful information like the ones listed above may want to know basic information like your general location or your age or gender but they will not want to know your SSN. And they won’t want to know your name or email unless you are creating an account. They won’t want a credit card number unless you are buying something from them and that is unlikely. Also, while we are talking about your SSN, if you visit a new doctor or clinic during this time, DO NOT give them your SSN. Every medical professional seems to ask for it – none of them need it and they all seem to have data breaches eventually that expose your data.
Identity Theft is Coming. Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself.
Covid-19 is expected to create real economic hardship for millions of people. The $2 Trillion recovery bill that was passed in record time and signed today by the President today is proof that there is virtually unanimous agreement in that. This means there will be a lot of money out there for thieves to steal but also people in desperate trouble who need money and who will turn to fraud. Sadly, almost half of all identity theft is committed by people close to us who open accounts in our names using information they know because they are close to us. Become a Free, Basic MyProfyle member today and learn more about risk factors like these so that you can take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and approve of reject use of your identity.
Thank You for Joining Us!