I am facing this issue on Catalina where ~$ files are created when transferring/copying files from MacOS to thumb drive. The ~$ files are sometimes created and appearing from different folders. The ~$ files created are all corrupted and unable to open. As observed, most of these original files are .docx.
Hoping someone out there could advise on this or point out where is the issue as it is causing confusion and I am afraid that it would corrupt the original files.
Edit 20200330 (adding in example)
Files created in Sub-folder A2 (in local machine/drive), when copied to thumb drive (with the entire folder hierarchy/ all folders listed, copied to thumb drive), the ~ file is created in sub-folder B4.1 in the thumb drive, with the Word software being unopened. It is not limited to only one file, but many ~ files created in different folders and not in the parent folder.