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Dealers, Watch Out—COVID-19 Scams Are on the Rise – KPA

Toby Graham /

They say bad times bring out the best and worst in people. Heads-up: this story is about the latter category.

WardsAuto reports that scammers have been able to “stay busy” during the COVID-19 pandemic by hijacking the crisis to steal money from consumers and businesses. Identity theft and synthetic identity fraud (i.e. the creation of a fictitious person) are especially prevalent right now.

Good for you, scammers—staying busy at a time of historically high unemployment. (I’m being sarcastic!) Maybe you could, I don’t know, read a book? Or use those computer skills and that creativity to actually help people?

In the meantime, the rest of us should be on the lookout for COVID-19-related digital fraud

This, according to a representative from TransUnion, often takes the form of “phishing and other social engineering schemes.” The credit reporting agency recently conducted a global survey and found that 27% of coronavirus scams were phishing attempts. Other common forms of fraud include “third-party-seller scams on legitimate online retail websites” as well as—brace yourself for these—charity and fundraising scams, unemployment scams, and scams involving “fraudulent COVID-19 vaccines, cures, tests, and PPE.”

Truly shining beacons of hope and virtue, these scammers.

Across the globe, approximately one-third (32%) of people say they’ve been targeted by coronavirus fraud. With numbers that high, all businesses—and particularly auto dealerships—should be sure to carefully verify consumers’ identities. The digital transactions that many dealers are relying on right now can carry increased risks.

Read “Cyber Scammers Stay Busy During Pandemic.”

Like I said, times like these can bring out the best and worst in people. While scammers are certainly out there, others—like the team here at KPA—have been staying busy keeping businesses and the people they serve safe and protected. Ask us what we can do for your dealership.

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