FDIC cautions against coronavirus-related scams, poor planning


WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — As Americans try to stay safe during this pandemic, the FDIC is warning that you should keep your money safe too.

Disasters like this are a prime time for scammers, but knee-jerk reactions on your own can be just as dangerous.

“FDIC personnel will never call you to tell you to move your money from a banking account to any other account,” said FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams.

McWilliams says they are getting reports of victims being targeted through email.

“If you get an email from the FDIC suggesting anything other than this is just to inform you that we’re fine and everything is operating as safe and sound as can be, I would absolutely delete that email,” said McWilliams.

She says keeping a level head can help us to avoid falling victim.

“I would urge everybody to act rationally as much as possible,” said McWilliams.

The FDIC says scams aren’t the only thing to worry about. Knee-jerk financial decisions can also cause problems.

“I understand that people are panicking and they’re buying all kinds of essentials including toilet paper but there’s absolutely no need for them to go to banks to get their cash out,” said McWilliams. “I would urge them not to do that at this time. The last thing you want to do at a time of volatility is go around with large amounts of cash.”

She says she has heard stories of that happening already.

Bottom line, she says despite the volatile market, your money is safest in the bank.

“The FDIC has never lost a penny of the insured deposits since 1933 when the corporation came into existence,” said McWilliams.

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