There are many good things that are happening in these days. Many people are rising to the occasion with acts of kindness and generosity. Unfortunately, there are those who will seek to take advantage of and profit from the vulnerable and uninformed. We know about scams of the past. Trust me, we will see these skyrocket in the days to come as unscrupulous people seek to profit from this crisis. As we are now under a stay-at-home order until June, I implore you to function out of facts and not fears or feelings. Fear can cause us to be susceptible to harm, and feelings are often faulty when compounded by anxiety. I want you to be properly informed!
First, choose how you will receive and consume information about this pandemic. Reliable sources for health news include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Second, it is easy to become obsessed with breaking news—trust me, I am a news junky. However, you must give yourself frequent, sustained breaks from media reports. Third, share only the best information you discover. Rumored, grapevine gossip is not helpful! When you find a reputable resource that is particularly useful, you can share it with loved ones. When you learn about practices that keep people safe, let a relative who is vulnerable to illness know. In a culture where people are feeling anxious and afraid, you can be a positive, productive gift to others.
Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself:
Obtain facts from reputable and official news sources. Significant developments will be reported through trustworthy outlets first.
Be wary of any request to send funds quickly or scams related to the COVID-19 stimulus bill recently passed by Congress.
Do not click on links embedded in webpages or emails related to the coronavirus. If you believe the message may be legitimate, contact the organization through confirmed channels.
Beware of any “investment” opportunities claiming to support companies that have developed a “cure” or “vaccine.”
If you’re working from home, look out for spoofed emails or calls attempting to compromise remote access and company data.
Before you take any action, such as giving money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, research online, consult an expert.
Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, lending institution, charity, etc. Never send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request—whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
Proverbs 23:23 (CEV) says, “Invest in truth and wisdom, discipline and good sense, and don’t part with them.” I want each of you to stay safe and healthy, but I also want you to be wise and disciplined as we continue to move forward in uncertain times. Continue to pray, call and check on one another, and know your staff is praying for you, and you are loved!
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You may also send your donation to the church. The mail is checked on a daily basis.
We thank you in advance for your continued support during this pandemic!