SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Basics: Don’t Click Links In Unknown Text Messages! Ever!

Don’t Click Links In Unsolicited Text Messages

You might be seeing text messages promising money – maybe the economic impact payments, loans for small businesses, or an offer for money you can get. In fact, you may have recently seen a WhatsApp text message in Spanish that advertised money for people quarantined at home. If you’ve spotted messages like this, we hope you have ignored and deleted them.

These text messages going around could lead you to a scam or a hackerHacker A computer hacker is a computer expert who uses their technical knowledge to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, within a computerized system by non-standard means. Though the term hacker has become associated in popular culture with a security hacker – someone who utilizes their technical know-how of bugs or exploits to break into computer systems and access data which would otherwise be unavailable to them – hacking can also be utilized by legitimate figures in legal situations. For example, law enforcement agencies sometimes use hacking techniques in order to collect evidence on criminals and other malicious actors. This could include using anonymity tools (such as a VPN, or the dark web) to mask their identities online, posing as criminals themselves. Likewise, covert world agencies can employ hacking techniques in the legal conduct of their work. Oppositely, hacking and cyber-attacks are used extra- and illegally by law enforcement and security agencies (conducting warrantless activities), and employed by State actors as a weapon of both legal and illegal warfare. or to malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. and viruses, but not to anything helpful.

It’s important to remember that scammers will go to any length to make their message seem real.

This particular text had the logo of the Executive Office of the President of the U.S. – a typical scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. tactic to make a message look affiliated with the government. It also had a list of people who could supposedly apply for the government grant – basically anyone – and had misspellings and cut off sentences.

Not all scammers have bad grammar or spelling – but it’s a good tip-off to a scam when you see them. Also, when it comes to economic impact payments and other pandemic recovery help, the government is not reaching out via text, phone, email, or messages to your social media. If you spot one: pretty likely it’s a scam.

So, if you get text messages claiming to be related to the government’s help for people affected by the Coronavirus:

  • Do not click on any links. Clicking could expose you to scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost., download malware, or get your phone number added to lists that are then sold to other bad actors.
  • Delete those text messages immediately and if possible blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• that number from contacting you again.
  • If you have questions about the federal government’s economic impact payment, go to irs.gov/coronavirus.

Report any suspicious text message to:

  • The FTC