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Online scams that are targeted to major news events have been around for more than a decade. With the constant news cycle on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), fraudsters have been focusing their attention wholly on this topic and finding new ways to gather secure data from scared consumers.

You should be highly skeptical of any emails and websites that claim to provide information or goods related to the ongoing pandemic. Emails and websites are promising vital information about keeping you safe from the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, a flood of them are scams that push malware, ransomware, and disinformation, and attempt to steal passwords and personal information. The key fact to confirm is the primary source of those communications. Never take source claims at face value. One of the most reliable sources for legitimate information the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Communications from local health departments can also be helpful, but only when the emails or websites can be confirmed as coming from a legitimate agency.

What You Can Do?


To avoid these schemes, please observe the following best practices:

  • Do not click on links or attachments from sources that you do not recognize
  • Do not provide sensitive personal information (like usernames and passwords) over email or the phone
  • Watch for email senders that use suspicious or misleading domain names
  • Inspect URLs (the address of the website) carefully to make sure they’re legitimate and not impostor sites
  • Do not try to open any shared document that you’re not expecting to receive
  • Do not offer any sensitive information to someone who calls you, even if you think you recognize them as a friend or family

Lastly, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is not true. Products that claim to provide personal health protection against the novel coronavirus are likely untrue or outdated (related to an old strain of coronavirus). For helpful resources regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 fact page.

And of course, if you feel your financial accounts have been compromised with fraud, please call us at (636) 916-8300 or chat online with a 1st Financial representative as soon as possible.

We were created 50 years ago to help our members through every situation, including your hardest moments. This is what we are here for. Let us help.  

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