Unfortunately, when natural disasters or pandemics occur, scams increase. Cybercriminals see this as a chance to profit, preying on our need to help others and guard ourselves. Take moment and be caution, particularly during this difficult and confusing time, and follow these guidelines to guard yourselves and your accounts. 


Several recent scams related to the Coronavirus have been identified. These include:

  • False news – Cybercriminals have impersonated the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Controls (CDC), and even your local schools in an attempt to get you to click on a link in an email that allows them to steal your personal information from your computer.
  • Fake charities – A common scam that increases when a crisis occurs is the fake charity asking for donations for a loved one or, as seen recently, vaccines for the children of China. 
  • Vaccination hoaxes – False information has begun circulating online, through emails and social media promising a cure for the Coronavirus. 


These are just a few of the hoaxes circulating right now. Please take extra precautions including:

  • Don’t click on links – if you receive emails claiming to be from the CDC or other experts with information about the virus, don’t click on links; those links could download viruses onto your computer or device. Instead, open a web browser and visit the CDC’s website at or the WHO to get information. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT.
  • Ignore offers for vaccinations – according to the FTC and the FDA, there aren’t currently any vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – online or in stores.
  • Caution when donating to charities – be sure you know who you are donating to. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, by wiring money, or by bitcoin, it’s likely a scam. 
  • Also, you should never provide account numbers, Social Security numbers or any personal information to strangers. If you are not sure who is contacting you, DO NOT give out your information.


The Consumer Protection Bureau recommends you file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If you have sent money to a charity you suspect might be fraudulent, it’s a good idea to also contact the local police department.

If you think your Bay Area Credit Union account or information has been compromised, please contact us immediately at 419-698-2962 so that we may help you. As always, give us a call if you have any questions.