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Protect Yourself from Scams & Fraud

La Comisión Federal de Comercio - Información para consumidores. Las estafas relacionadas con el coronavirus: Qué está haciendo la FTC.

Law enforcement officials throughout the country say they're seeing a surge in fraud and consumer rip-offs since the coronavirus pandemic began. Times of crisis tend to bring out the best and worst in us all, and it's even easier than usual to react based on emotions and fear, but we encourage our patrons and community members to pause, think, and question everything before sharing on social media or sharing your personal information with a stranger.

  • While there are many kind-hearted people in the world offering real assistance in the form of picking up groceries or delivering home-cooked meals, there are also people posing as them in order to take advantage of those at risk.
  • There are many reputable charities that are working to assist those who need it right now, but there are also fake organizations pretending to do the same but in realilty are pocketing the money for themselves.
  • Social Security has been extended for many people, and there are stimulus checks on the way for many as well, but you should not have to provide your banking or credit card information to anyone by phone or email in order to receive it. Beware of stimulus check scams and related hoaxes by familiarizing yourself with the IRS' guidelines for Economic Impact Checks.

The library is here to help you! Please email us or chat with us or reach out via social media with questions or concerns and we will do our best to get to the bottom of it.

We've also compiled a short list of resources to help you familiarize yourself with Coronavirus scams and misinformation:

Beware of Scams Related to the Coronavirus from the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Coronavirus Advice for Consumers from the Federal Trade Commission
The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Been Accompanied By A Surge In Consumer Fraud - 3-minute interview/transcript from NPR
The Coronavirus Collection: Fact-Checking COVID-19 from Snopes, the oldest and largest fact-checking site online
COVID-19 Fact Sheet from the Center for Disease Control
COVID-19 Myth Busters from the World Health Organization
Rhode Island's Consumer Protection Unit, to report suspicious activity and file claims