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Society’s recent upheaval has quickly led to a tidal wave of new scam attempts and fraud schemes you should be aware of to help keep yourself, your family and your finances safe. Know that fraudsters today are using every scam practice imaginable and quickly adapting their messages and tactics as new medical and economic issues occur. Luckily, the same common-sense tips that security experts have always recommended still make sense today.

Tips to protect yourself from new (and not so new) forms of fraud.

  1. Independently verify the identity of any company, charity or individual that contacts you regarding anything medically related.
  2. Check the websites and email addresses on any correspondence, electronic or otherwise, offering new medical information, products or services. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov.”
  3. Be wary of unsolicited emails requesting your personal information for medical purposes. Legitimate health authorities will not contact you via email.
  4. Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device.
  5. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is operating and up to date. Keep your operating system up to date as well.
  6. Ignore offers for medical vaccines, cures or treatments. Remember, when a vaccine becomes available, you won’t hear about it first through an email, online ad or unsolicited sales pitch.
  7. Check online reviews of any company offering medical products or supplies. Avoid companies whose customers have complained about not receiving items.
  8. Research any charities or crowdfunding sites soliciting donations before giving any donation. Remember, an organization may not be legitimate even if it uses words such as “CDC” or “government” in its name or has reputable-looking seals or logos on its materials. For online resources for donating wisely, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, ftc.gov.
  9. Be wary of any business, charity or individual requesting payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer or gift card, or through the mail. Do not send money through any of these channels.

Let us protect your identity

You’ve worked hard to build a strong financial position and a solid reputation. Our Nationwide Private Client homeowners policy includes identity theft assistance benefits at no additional cost, so you have help protecting what’s important to you.

Through our trusted partnership with Generali Global Assistance (GGA), Nationwide Private Client not only helps you after an identity theft incident takes place, we also help to reduce your potential risks.

Benefits include:

  • Monitoring high-risk transactions with more than 300 of the nation’s largest companies to resist account takeover attempts: monitored transactions include credit cards, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, health care portals and more
  • Internet surveillance that looks for personal identifying information, such as social security numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, debit/credit card numbers, bank account numbers and more
  • Reviewing underground sources, such as hack dump sites, file-sharing portals, data leaks and malware logs
  • 24/7 access to GGA’s award-winning team of resolution specialists, who will act as your personal advocate for recovery assistance should an identity theft incident occur; recovery services include affidavit submissions, creditor notification and follow-up, placing credit freezes and fraud alerts, and more

If you think you are a victim of a fraud or attempted fraud, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721.

Source: “Department of Justice Announces Disruption of Hundreds of Online COVID-19 Related Scams,”justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-announces-disruption-hundreds-online-covid-19-related-scams (April 22, 2020).
This insurance overview is for informational purposes only and does not replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance policies, their endorsements or their declarations pages, which are controlling. Terms and availability vary by state, and exclusions apply. Products are underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies, including Crestbrook Insurance, Columbus, Ohio. Monitoring, portal, and resolution assistance services provided by Generali Global Assistance. There is no additional charge for these services, but enrollment is optional. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, Nationwide is on your side and Nationwide Private Client are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020 Nationwide