Protect Yourself From Fraud


Be Aware of these Pandemic Scams

The coronavirus pandemic has increased opportunities for scammers, hackers, robo callers and other thieves to try to con us out of our money. With millions of people filing for unemployment, awaiting stimulus checks, and moving towards digital banking – fraudsters are using the internet, telephone calls and texts in their attempts to obtain money or data.

If you suspect you’re a victim of fraud or attempted fraud, act fast.  Call us to report it: 408-282-0700 or 800-282-6212.


  • County Federal will never ask you to verify account information, such as your name, account number or password in an e-mail.
  • It only takes a few seconds to navigate to yourself and sign into your account, change your password and view your activity.


The Latest Scams

Testing, treatment, supply scams

A number of fake websites selling hand sanitizers, face masks and cleaning supplies have been set up just to collect your personal and credit card information. Scammers are also selling fake cures, vaccines, and advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19. Legitimate e-commerce sites use encryption so that your payment information remains safe. Look for the lock symbol in the browser window. Clicking on the lock symbol allows you to verify that the site was issued a security certificate. You should also check that the address starts with “https://” rather than just “http://”.  

Government relief check scams

Scammers may send you a message that you qualify for a COVID-19 government grant and you just need to click a link to fill out the “necessary” personal information. Your identifying information is stolen as you enter it and can be used in other scams. They do their homework on you and adapt to your responses. Most of the time, they “spoof” phone numbers, manipulating phone networks to call your phone from numbers they aren’t actually calling from — including digits that belong to your bank or a government agency.

Note:  Government agencies DO NOT communicate through social media avenues like Facebook. 

Charity scams

Scammers are soliciting donations for individuals, groups, and areas affected by COVID-19. Some scammers use names that sound a lot like the names of real charities. A simple Google search of the charity name + scam can help you determine which charities are real.

Phishing and Spoofing scams

Scammers posing as national and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, are sending phishing emails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware or clicking a link to provide personal or financial institution information.

Scammers are now able to post your credit union, bank, and even the IRS’s phone number on your phone when they call. Don’t give out any information! Instead, hang up and call back at the customer service number that you looked up separately and not the number they are calling from.

Investment scams

Scammers are offering online promotions on various platforms, including social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19, and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. These promotions often relate to microcap stocks, or low-priced stocks issued by small companies with limited publicly available information.

“Person in need” scams

Scammers could use the circumstances of the coronavirus to pose as a grandchild, relative or friend who claims to be ill, stranded in another state or foreign country, or otherwise in trouble, and ask you to send money. They may ask you to send cash by mail or buy gift cards. These scammers often beg you to keep it a secret and act fast before you ask questions. Don’t send money unless you’ve confirmed this information is true by calling a family member, different friend or relative to confirm the caller’s story.

The Best Defense is to say “No” when:

  • Something doesn’t feel right to you, trust your gut and say no if it sounds too good to be true.
  • Someone you don’t know asks you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back — by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app like Venmo or Zelle.
  • Anyone contacts you asking for any other personally identifiable information by phone, in person, by text message, or email. Scammers may use partial information to make you feel more comfortable to trick you into providing missing data.
    • Social Security number
    • Bank account number
    • Credit card information
    • Medicare ID number
    • Driver’s license number
  • Someone you don’t know sends you or gives you a check and promises you a portion. They ask you to deposit the check and send or give a portion of the money back immediately or in the form of gift cards.
  • You receive an email stating that there has been fraudulent activity on your account or that threatens to close your account if you don’t take immediate action. It asks you to login to your account and change your password or verify any account information. Don’t click on any links in this email, even if it looks official.


Additional sources for COVID-19 fraud and scams:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Learn More

  • You can help stop fraud and educate others by reporting scams:
    • S. Department of Justice Learn More
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (web-based complaints) Learn More

Contact Us:

If you suspect you’re a victim of fraud or attempted fraud, act fast.  Call us to report it: 408-282-0700 or 800-282-6212.


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