SAFETY ALERT: COVID-19 text message scam

Digital Now

COLORADO SPRINGS — The COVID-19 pandemic opened doors to a variety of scams.

“That’s everything from claims of treatment, to vaccines early on, to fake masks or not receiving your masks in the mail at all, governmental grants,” said Adah Rodriguez, Vice President of Development and Operations with the Better Business Bureau of southern Colorado. 

The BBB of Southern Colorado put out a scam alert for the latest one.

“A text message on your cell phone that is indicating that you need to click a link In order to take this required test by the federal government. So, the scammers are choosing a couple keywords; ‘mandatory is definitely one of them that catches people’s attention. The other being ‘federal government.’ Nobody wants to upset their federal government. ‘It must be real if it’s coming from the federal government and it’s mandated,” Rodriguez said. 

Watch out for those keywords and do your research.

“What we have heard is that it does take you to a website where it still appears as though it’s asking you for information, do that you can take the so-called ‘test.’ It’s kind of known as a phishing scam, where it really is phishing for that personal information from an individual. Once they have your personal information, who knows what they’ll use it for right? Are they then going to use it in order to attempt to get your financial information, are they going to use is so that then they can call you back and scam you with Medicare or other types of scams?” Rodriguez said. 

The BBB says to be wary of anything asking you to make payments related to COVID-19, understand the federal government would never send out a text telling you to get tested for coronavirus, and of course, you can’t get tested for it online.

“Sometimes you just act because you’re scared and not necessarily taking that breath. So, I think stepping back and doing your research is really, really critical. And whether that’s talking to someone in your home or your family and just saying, ‘hey I got this text message, does this seem legit?’ Or whether it’s going online and doing research, contacting the BBB,” Rodriguez said. 

The BBB says they haven’t received any reports of anyone locally being targeted by this scam, but if they do receive a text like this scam, don’t click on the link.

Report it through the BBB’s scam tracker. 

“We always recommend that individuals delete the text message and not click on anything or not respond. If you do respond, that does indicate that there’s a live person at the end of this phone message. Also, it could potentially link you to other types of scams,” Rodriguez said. 

Click here for a list of tips on how to spot a COVID-19 text scam. 

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