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Online Shopping and Research

Published May 19, 2020

In this strange new age of quarantining, many people are turning to delivery services more than ever before. With a large choice of vendors, we can have everything we need left on our doorstep. As with most things, there are some who are choosing to take advantage of this fact by advertising products or services online that they won’t actually provide.

While it is especially important to avoid companies claiming to sell COVID related products and services such as cures, vaccines and masks, there are many other clever ways that scam artists are trying to steal your information or money.

Be sure to research companies offering SBA PPP loan services to ensure they are an accredited financial institution; there are some online destinations pretending to process loans when in reality they are just stealing your personal information.

Aside from these more obvious schemes, there are also fake companies and websites offering merchandise which they never intend to actually sell you. These sites may offer anything from groceries to graphic design software. These sites steal your billing/payment information or charge your card and you will never receive the items you thought you were purchasing.

Other times, scammers create websites that seem shockingly similar to a trusted company. My-100bank.com is NOT the same as my100bank.com though. These sites are meant to trick users into thinking they are browsing and buying goods from a trusted source when they in fact are giving thieves their private information.

Don’t fall prey to scams. Remember these three tips when you are buying online:

  • Only purchase goods from companies you know and trust.
  • Double check the url
  • Don’t use a debit card; use credit cards or a payment system instead

If the first two tips fail you, at least you can rest easy knowing the thief has a limit on how much they can spend and that your bank account(s) will be safe and accessible when you freeze your credit card.

As a reminder, no company has any involvement in whether you will receive a stimulus check. Most people do not need to do anything at all. There is not an application form. The only people who should fill out anything are people who have not filed taxes in the past two years AND do not receive any Social Security benefits. Those people should visit irs.gov to provide their information to the government so they may be considered for a stimulus check (this is not an application).

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