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BBB says scammers are out taking advantage of the pandemic

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Better Business Bureau says scammers are out taking advantage of recent natural disasters and the pandemic. A new strategy is that they will call or send a fake COVID-19 test.

"You know unfortunately we see this type of scam here in Eastern Idaho, all over the state of Idaho, and then all over the United States," Eastern Idaho Marketplace Manager for Better Business Bureau, Jeremy Johnson said.

"Unfortunately the thing is, these people are good at what they do and they can be very convincing," Johnson said. "A lot of times they may call you or one type of thing and as you're talking to them, if you do pick up the phone, they're listening to the voice to determine your age. They may listen to see if you have a dog in the background kids, and then they use that information to prey upon you again."

18 to 24-year-olds are often the most targeted for scams, but the age group does not have much money to lose. So that is why scammers target senior citizens because they often have more money in their accounts and time to talk.

"One thing with some of these scams, is, is if anybody's asking you to pay money to get a prize, that you never entered to win a prize, that can be a huge red flag," Johnson said. "Or if you see an email that looks like it's from a corporation or a business that you've done business with, but there's misspellings or things look a little off that can also be a red flag."

Another big red flag is people asking for your social security number.

"What we all need to know is, once your information is compromised, it's almost impossible to get it back," Johnson said. "So if you are getting phone calls and information is taken, it is really really hard to get it back. So you want to hold your information like you would hold tangible valuables."

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Adrian Luevano

Adrian Luevano

Adrian is a reporter and sports anchor for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.



  1. “18 to 24-year-olds are often the most targeted for scams….”
    Because they seriously LACK a healthy skepticism. Whether endless hours of ‘pop-up’ ads or television ‘marketing’, they have been indoctrinated to ignore the fact the the term marketing has come to mean ‘Lawyerized’ LYING.
    Sure, such scams work fairly well on ‘senior citizens’ (that’d be folks like ME, but far LESS cynical), but for wholly different reasons.
    It is my personal opinion that such scamming constitutes a major part of the Island of Jamacia’s GNP. Regardless, maybe two-thirds of cold (unsolicited) calls are outright frauds. The rest are just ‘misleading’. Say no (or **** NO!, as I do) and hang up on the slugs. Don’t take the bait, regardless HOW tempting it might seem

  2. If you have a cell phone get a call blocker that will block ALL calls that are not in your contacts’ list, but still allow them to leave a message. That way, if you get a legit call, a message can still be left.
    I get, on average, four calls a week, where messages are never left…so I assume they are spam or just some moron calling a wrong number. I also then go to my recent calls and let the cell phone provider BLOCK that number from future calls.

    I feel if no message was left, it is not legit. I go overboard to make sure I never talk to anyone unless I want to talk to them.

    I will say, before I got the blocker (a few years ago) I did have fun with some of these morons. The broken english speaking SSA agents tell me I was going to be arrested for some reason they could not explain; but hanging up when I told them what I just did with their mommy.

    And I’m still waiting for that US Marshal to appear from three or four years ago with the arrest warrant since I told the guy to send the Marshal out to my house and to shove the warrant up his …..

    But, anyone who falls for these spammers deserves to lose everything they have. Like the say “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

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