Protect Yourself from Coronavirus Scams and Credit Card Fraud

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Last updated on August 25th, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is bringing out the best – and worst – in people. For every story of Italians serenading their neighbors, there’s another of a scammer trying to steal people’s money. According to a report from Comparitech, over 3.8 million Americans were victims of fraud and scams. in 2019. Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Experian are offering advice on how to keep your money safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Avoiding Coronavirus Scams

Scams are a normal part of life, unfortunately. And that is certainly the case during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are a few FTC tips:

  • Don’t Click Links from Sources You Don’t Trust Scammers frequently steal information by posing as reputable links. Before you click anything, check the actual link you are clicking. Don’t recognize it? Does it appear different than what it’s claiming to be? Don’t click it.
  • Ignore Vaccine Emails – There are currently no known vaccines for COVID-19. If you receive anything claiming to have information on a “cure,” avoid it.
  • Do Your Homework – Before donating to any charity, GoFundMe, or anything else, always do your research to ensure it is a worthy – and real – charity.
  • Be wary of emails from the CDC or WHO
  • Research anyone selling medical supplies or any other goods online to see if they are a legitimate business.

Protect Your Credit

Like the FTC, Experian is also offering advice for consumers. The credit-monitoring bureau recommends everyone be proactive when it comes to their credit during this difficult time.

Experian recommends all Americans do the following:

  • Contact their creditors if they are concerned about being able to make their monthly payments. For a comprehensive list of credit card issuer contact numbers, visit our dedicated Coronavirus Credit Card Relief Contact Info page.
  • If possible, make at least their minimum payments on time every month.
  • Make sure their credit reports are secure. This includes obtaining free copies of their credit reports to check for fraud and accuracy.

Should you suspect fraud, there are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Contact your credit card issuers to report the fraud.
  • Update your passwords
  • Update recurring payments
  • Freeze your credit report

Freezing your credit is the best thing to do should you suspect fraud. This action restricts access to your credit report, preventing thieves from accessing your credit score information and opening accounts in your name. Freezing and unfreezing your credit doesn’t add any additional cost, making it a safe – and affordable – way to immediately halt further fraud.

Related Article: Can You Get Coronavirus from Cash and Credit Cards?

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.