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Avoid COVID-19 Scams

During these unprecedented times, we’re doing whatever it takes to ensure U.S. Cellular customers stay connected to friends, family and the world around them. And while a lot is changing with every passing day, know that U.S. Cellular will always have your back. We’re working around the clock to not only keep you connected, but keep you protected from the “unknown callers” who may be trying to reach you.

As we navigate the current pandemic together, we want to remind you to keep your guard up around unknown numbers. Play it safe. Fraudsters are out there, and they will try to scam innocent victims of their money by any means necessary—especially during stressful times like these1.

Safeguard your personal information:

The biggest clue you’re talking to a scammer is if they ask you to hand over personal information. According to Transaction Network Services, typically, a legitimate business will NEVER contact you asking for personal or account information such as your username and password or your credit/debit card number and PIN.

Known COVID-19 Scams:

U.S. Cellular is using patented technology and has seen the following COVID-19 scams to date.

  1. Offers for test kits and masks.
  2. Free Netflix for 5 months that also may come in via an SMS text.
  3. Free iPhone 11 that also may come in via an SMS text.
  4. Offers for house cleaning / duct cleaning to get rid of coronavirus.
  5. Health insurance scams using the COVID-19 pandemic as a ploy.
  6. Loan scams tied to coronavirus, including school loans that may be affected by the novel coronavirus.
  7. Offer to Costco loyal customers for $130 in freebies as part of a stimulus package.

Don’t fall for their scam. Here are some tips to keep you safe:

If you get a call asking for personal information, be cautious:

  • Don’t trust caller ID. Caller ID may be spoofed to show the call is from a legitimate business.
  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers and let them go to voicemail. Legitimate businesses will leave a meaningful voicemail for the subscriber so they can call you back
  • If the message isn’t personalized, there’s a good chance it’s not from a trustworthy source. Legitimate businesses should always provide clear identification of the calling party, along with clear-and-easy opt-out directions.
  • Never give personal or account information over the phone, even of you receive a call stating that a transaction has been cancelled.
  • Monitor your accounts for any unauthorized transactions.
  • If you receive a scam call, file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Centerby selecting the “phone” option and selecting “unwanted calls.”
  • If you have lost money because of a scam call, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.

U.S. Cellular hopes you are staying safe and healthy during these trying and uncertain times.  If you have any questions, please call us on 1-888-944-9400.

1 Source: Transaction Network Services https://tnsi.com/