Back to the blog

COVID-19 Opens Door to New Scams

By: Kacy Clouser, Esq. on in  | 

Like many other situations, scammers have found ways to utilize the coronavirus as a way to gain access to people’s sensitive information and money. It’s important to be aware of the various ways that scammers are using to exploit individuals. They include:

  • False exposure: In some areas, phone calls have been made alleging that the caller is from “the health department,” and that the person may have been exposed to the virus. They then follow up with selling either a vaccine kit or an at-home testing kit.  At this point in time, there are no legitimate vaccines for COVID-19.
  • Phishing emails: The usual way that scammers get valuable personal information is via fake emails or phishing emails to gain access to someone’s computer. While this is a risk at any time, the risk is compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that countless real estate transactions have been delayed or switched to remote communications.  This creates an additional risk as clients might be expecting an email with instructions for online banking transactions.
  • Air filtration system: Other people are selling an air filter, which they claim will remove the virus from the purchaser’s homes. They charge a fee for the alleged filter, a cleaning and sanitation.  Not only is this a financial scam, but also a health and safety risk if these scammers are actually entering homes.
  • Fake charities: There are a lot of completely valid and reputable charities seeking donations right now. The issue, however, is the creation of fake charities and misleading solicitations.  If you are looking to donate, make sure to do your research on the charity you choose.

With all of these risks, there is a need to be aware for yourself and for your clients. For your clients, there are two important things to keep in mind:

  • Never send confidential information via unsecured email. If you communicate with your clients via email, make sure you communicate where it will be coming from, and to confirm with you when they receive it.
  • Provide your client with the best information to succeed. Utilize our new form, the Wire Fraud Notice (Form WFN), discuss the various ways that a scammer might try to get information and give your clients the power of knowing what to do if they receive any type of wire fraud attempts.

Be sure to stay up to date on everything related to coronavirus at PARealtors.org/coronavirus.

CDC Eviction Moratorium Extended Until July 31

No substantive changes to the eviction moratorium were made with this latest extension. However, the CDC also announced that this latest extension “is currently intended to be a final” extension and the “CDC does not plan to extend the order further.”

 Read More
Eviction Proceeding Timelines Modified

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made emergency rule changes to some of the timelines relating to residential eviction proceedings before magisterial district judges. These modified rules went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. After seeking public comment and additional feedback on the modified rules, the Supreme Court recently announced it is modifying the timelines back to their original periods effective Jan. 1, 2022.

 Read More
General Assembly Approves Resolution to End Emergency Declaration

Along with this measure, the legislature also passed House Bill 854 on June 9, with new language extending all of the regulatory waivers that had been issued under the emergency order. Those waivers, including one that allow livestreamed education courses to be counted under the rules applicable to in-person courses, are now extended to Sept. 30. HB854 was approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives and now moves to the governor’s desk for his signature.

 Read More
Subscribe
Comments (1)

Comments

  • Jack Fleming   March 31, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I’ve noticed that my spam calls went down dramatically in the two weeks. But my spam emails have almost doubled.

    Reply to Jack Fleming

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *