COVID-19 Scams

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Communities are doing a lot to support one-another in these unprecedented times, but unfortunately scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Some scams purport to be providing relief or cures. Some scammers are preying on the generosity of people and asking you to donate to victims or relief funds.

Please don’t fall victim to these frauds and crimes. Independently verify the identity of any company, charity, or individual that contacts you regarding COVID-19.

If you see these frauds being attempted or if you are victimized by these frauds, please report them to:

Some examples of COVID-19 scams include:

Grants or Stimulus Payments

If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, tax, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond. These are scams.

Phishing Scams

Scammers posing as national and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are sending phishing emails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware or providing personal identifying and financial information.

  • Check the websites and email addresses offering information, products, or services related to COVID-19. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov.”
  • Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device.
  • Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is operating and up to date.

App Scams

Scammers are creating and manipulating mobile apps designed to track the spread of COVID-19 to insert malware that will compromise users’ devices and personal information. Watch out for any links texted to your Android phone promising an app to track coronavirus.

Treatment Scams

Scammers are offering to sell fake cures, vaccines, and advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19. Check reputable sources like the CDC and WHO for factual information about treatments and prevention measures.

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 or requesting your personal information for medical purposes. Legitimate health authorities will not contact the general public this way.
  • Ignore offers for a COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment. Remember, if there is a medical breakthrough, you won’t hear about it for the first time through an email, online ad, or unsolicited sales pitch.
  • Check online reviews of any company offering COVID-19 products or supplies. Avoid companies whose customers have complained about not receiving items.

In-Demand Product Scams

Online sellers claim they have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies. You place an order, but you never get your shipment. Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name — including scammers.

  • Check out the seller by searching online for the person or company’s name, phone number and email address, plus words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” If everything checks out, pay by credit card and keep a record of your transaction.
  • If you’re concerned about the pricing of products in your area, contact your state consumer protection officials. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox can be reached at (406) 444-2026. For a complete list of state Attorneys General, visit naag.org.

Provider Scams

Scammers are contacting people by phone and email demanding payment for treatment of a friend or relative that they claim was hospitalized for Coronavirus.

Charity Scams

Scammers are soliciting donations for false “funds” for individuals, groups, and areas affected by COVID-19.

  • Research any charities or crowdfunding sites soliciting donations in connection with COVID-19 before giving. Remember, an organization may not be legitimate even if it uses words like “CDC” or “government” in its name or has reputable looking seals or logos on its materials. For online resources on donating wisely, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.
  • Be wary of any business, charity, or individual requesting payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail. Don’t send money through any of these channels.

Investment Scams

Scammers are offering online promotions on various platforms, including social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19, and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. These promotions are often styled as “research reports,” make predictions of a specific “target price,” and relate to microcap stocks, or low-priced stocks issued by the smallest of companies with limited publicly available information.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.

Source: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdpa/covid-19-fraud-page

Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/03/ftc-coronavirus-scams-part-2

COVID-19 Response

Our team is available to serve you as always. For the safety of Freedom Bank’s customers and staff, our lobby is temporarily closed effective Thursday, March 19th at 5:00 PM. Our Drive Up remains open M-F 8-6 and Saturdays 9-1. Our ATM is available 24/7.

If access to our lobby is critical, please call 406-892-1776 to schedule an appointment. Thank you for your understanding.

***NEW*** If you are facing imminent financial hardship, take a look at our new initiative: “Banking Our Community: Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. We are providing 0% interest loans up to $1,000 for those disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evaluate additional measures to support our customers and community as needs arise.

Updates will be posted here and on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Thank you for being a valued customer.


Specific Contacts

Commercial Loans

Don Bennett, President – 406-892-6622 After Hours 406-270-1143

Max – 406-892-6631

Cameron – 406-892-6626

Real Estate Loans

Trevor – 406-892-6629

New Accounts

Alona – 406-892-6630

Wire Transfers or Disputes

Carie – 406-892-6625

Online and Mobile Banking

Lynette – 406-892-6632

Blayne – 406-892-6634

For all other concerns and questions, please call 406-892-1776.


Drive Up Banking

Monday-Friday 8:00AM – 6:00PM

Saturday 9:00AM – 1:00PM


Phone and Email

406-892-1776

info@FreedomBankMT.com

We encourage you to be vigilant and wary of attempted scams. We will never ask you to share your online banking credentials.


Mobile Banking

  • 24/7 Account Access: Check transaction history, transfer money between accounts, and pay bills for established billers.
  • Deposit Checks Remotely: Contact us if you need your remote check deposit limit increased.

Download the Freedom Bank MT Mobile App. Use your phone’s camera to scan a QR code below.

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about the mobile application here.


Computer Displaying Online Banking WebsiteOnline Banking

  • 24/7 Account Access: Check transaction history, transfer money between accounts, pay bills, and view statements.
  • Business ACH Capabilities: Businesses can apply for Business Online to pay bills and payroll with ACH or collect money from customers via direct debit.