If it seems as if we are always talking about COVID Scams, you are right. COVID Scams have become a virus unto themselves and continue to grow. The attacks are silent as many people are too ashamed or embarrassed to report a scam to us, or even to tell a close friend.
As our country begins to open back up, people are being asked to continue to be vigilant against the disease. This holds true for COVID based scams. Stay alert to the variety of scams related to COVID, familiarize yourself with these scams and how they work. Being informed and alert is your best defense.
You might wonder how fraudsters come up with all these new scams. The simple answer is, they don’t. There are no new scams, there are only old scams repurposed.
It is difficult to catch these culprits which is why it is critical for each of us to be on guard and educate ourselves on the types of scams that are currently in play.
Please take moment and refresh your knowledge on current scams and how they work.
License Plate Thefts on the Rise in Denver
The next best thing to stealing a car is to steal license plates. Turns out your license plates are a hot commodity. A recent Denver trend shows a significant increase in thieves ripping off license plates. Sometimes they put them on their own car, or a stolen one making it hard to track the culprit. Has your car has been stationary while you sheltered in place? While you weren’t looking and in quick fashion, a thief can quickly unbolt your front and rear plates.
Neighborhoods all around Denver are reporting theft of plates to Denver Police Department. Thieves are putting stolen tags on stolen cars making crimes difficult to trace.
Sometimes these thieves just steal the stickers off the plates. Unfortunately, residents do not always notice those tiny stickers gone until they are pulled over for expired plates.
Stealing a license plate takes one tool – a screwdriver. Removing a registration sticker also takes one tool – a razor blade or a sharp fingernail.
The Denver Police Department is aware of the rise in this crime and wants you to contact your local DPD district station before your tags are stolen. Your local Denver Police Department Community Resource Officer will provide you with a device to keep your tags secure FREE OF CHARGE. If you would rather pay for safety, there are one-way screws, also called plate keepers, to attach your plates. These can make plate removal more difficult.
If your tags or stickers are stolen, the Department of Motor Vehicles says you should file a police report immediately to avoid paying for replacements and to avoid fines.
HERE’S THE ROUND UP OF COVID-19 SCAMS
STIMULUS CHECKS – With news that there may be additional stimulus checks being sent, this is an IMPOSTER SCAM, which will rear it’s ugly head again. REMINDER: NO government agency will call you. NO legitimate agency will ask you to pay for ANYTHING for your check.
GOOD SAMARITAN – While there are many well intentioned people who want to help neighbors, there are those with an ulterior motive. KNOW THE PERSON you are working with. DO NOT give them credit card or check. NEGOTIATE the price UPFRONT and pay in cash. DO NOT let strangers enter your home.
CHARITABLE GIVING – Giving to support non profits is excellent. Find the charity that give you passion. BUT FIRST, find out if how much of your dollars will be going to the cause versus salaries. SECOND, don’t just send money without doing research! Go to Charity Navigator or Better Business Bureau . If you can not find the charity DO NOT GIVE.
ROMANCE SCAMS – All this sheltering in place got you lonely? Be careful making good friends on line.
PHISHING/ COVID-19 CURES – Bottom line, there ARE NO CURES. Do not click on any sites that promise you such, and DO NOT buy any cures. You are buying snake oil.