S. E. Williams | Contributor
To borrow a cliché, these are literally the “times that try men’s souls.” Today, as people anguish over not being able to hold the hand and comfort dying loved ones, as mother’s fret anxiously over their own fates and the fate of their families and friends, it is sometimes difficult to believe there are still those who plot and act at the expense of others to advance their own agendas. And, all too often—those agendas are focused on taking advantage of whomever is most vulnerable at any given moment. Today, we all are.
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced COVID-19-related crimes doubled in a week and continue to grow by the thousands, resulting in consumers being robbed of more than seven million dollars in less than two weeks.
Some of the scams include illegal robocalls that pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments, to work-at-home schemes, online offers for vaccinations and home test kits, online scammers claiming to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, health and medical supplies, texts and emails about checks from the government, and the list goes on.
To avoid being scammed, the FTC recommends you know who you’re buying from online. Do not respond to texts and emails about checks from the government, and do not click on links from sources you do not know. In addition, watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus.
Finally, it is essential you to do your homework before contributing to charities either through the charities or crowdfunding sites. Also, if someone asks for donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring it—DO NOT.
If you or someone you know has been scammed in relation to COVID-19 you can go online at ftc.gov/coronavirus and file a consumer complaint.
The philosopher Frances Bacon said, “Opportunity makes a thief.” During times like these where the majority of people in the world are taking an opportunity to reach out in love, it is saddening to recognize and accept there are still those, who regardless of the circumstances, think only of themselves and their wallets with little regard for their fellow man.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.