Pandemic Scam Preparedness 1

Pandemic Scam Preparedness

Improving Building Security

As we enter 2021, companies will need to prepare for the continuing pandemic’s significant impact on the economy. Organizations will likely witness an increase in crime and will need to focus on protecting facilities that remain unoccupied against specific crimes, such as burglary and vandalism.

Security or facilities management should ensure that buildings are restricted to a single entry/exit point and that all other doors are locked and alarmed. Personnel and delivery gates should be in working order and kept secure, and camera systems should closely monitor any activity through the gates.

Security staff normally identify and document all contractors and visitors in company-approved visitor logs. These procedures are more important than ever as more employees are working remotely, significantly reducing the level of capable guardianship within the facility.

Any vehicles that are in open parking areas should be closely monitored to prevent theft and vandalism. Security should be aware of any vehicles that have been parked on the lot for more than a few days and be alert to the same vehicles or pedestrians that could be surveilling the property. Security staff or facilities management should ensure that lighting surveys are conducted in parking lots and that timers are properly set to illuminate at dusk.

The stress of the pandemic can lead to irate visitors and employees. Security staff should be trained in proper de-escalation techniques to diffuse hostile interactions.

Forensic Security & Protection, LLC can provide a thorough physical security risk assessment of your property to determine gaps in security coverage and other vulnerabilities that could result in significant liability for your company. Our risk assessment will help keep your employees and property safe.
Pandemic Scam Preparedness

A pandemic is an infectious disease outbreak that affects a large geographic area. The risk of a pandemic has increased in recent years because of the wide usage of passenger air travel. Much has been written on what items you need to stock up on during a pandemic. This addresses what you need to be aware of to avoid falling victim to the unprecedented number of scams and predators seeking to exploit the pandemic crisis.
Online scams targeting people and businesses

Criminals prey on targets in unfamiliar territory. Since the start of the pandemic, many individuals who were accustomed to shopping at their favorite stores, are now shopping online. This had led to an increase in the number of cybercriminals selling phony medication and equipment to individuals and healthcare institutions. Phony sites are popping up claiming to sell protective gear and hand sanitizer. Be aware that there has been a spike in phony websites related to the pandemic seeking to scam people out of their money or personal information. With brick and mortar stores closed during the pandemic, online thieves are targeting digital checkouts on websites. Be aware of purchases and verify all websites first, and carefully review purchases on your monthly credit card statement. Contact your credit card company immediately if you suspect any unauthorized purchases, or if the amount of purchase is not the same as advertised on the website.

Fraudulent unemployment websites are also obtaining personal information which can also be sold to third parties for marketing. Individuals should avoid any non-government websites offering to assist with the filing of unemployment claims.
Price Gouging

Price gouging is when the price of a product is at least 20 percent higher than normal. It is also illegal during a declared disaster emergency. Consumers have flooded their state officials with complaints of online price gouging, with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office alone receiving thousands of consumer price gouging complaints since the start of the pandemic. One vendor outside of Philadelphia was reportedly selling a $2.00 bottle of hand sanitizer for $19.00. Be aware of the fear factor. Most necessities will be in supply, and if not, will be available soon. Avoid becoming a victim of price gouging by only buying items that you need from reputable retailers.

One of the main challenges is that a pandemic is likely to last longer than most emergencies such as a natural disaster. Pandemics can also return in “waves” weeks or months after they subside. This means that the consumer will need to remain vigilant for longer periods.