2020 Census: Visiting Homes and Sending Emails
The Federal Trade Commission is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help you guard against potential census scams. Knowing how the 2020 Census process works, what information you will — and won’t — be asked for, and some red flags will help you spot and report scams.
Michigan Contact Tracing and How to Avoid Being Scammed
We can’t stop the spread of COVID-19 alone. We have to do it together. Social distancing is only part of the solution. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people. To break the chain of infection, we’re calling anyone who has been exposed. The process is called contact tracing and it has been used to control diseases for decades. But you have to answer the phone for it...
Scammers impersonate the FTC, too
Scammers never seem to run out of new ways to try to take your money or steal your identity, especially in times of crisis like the one we’re living through now. One of the latest schemes involves an email that claims—falsely—that it came from me. It might say you’re entitled to some money from a phony “Global Empowerment Fund” and tell you to give your bank account number or...
Help COVID-19 contact tracers, not scammers
After nearly three months of stay-at-home orders, America is starting to open up again. Contact tracers, the folks who work for state health departments to try to track anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, are an important part of our road to recovery. But some scammers are pretending to be contact tracers so they can profit off of the current confusion. They’re trying to steal...
Is a scammer getting unemployment benefits in your name?
In a large-scale scam erupting in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits, using the names and personal information of people who have not filed claims. People learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer about their supposed application for benefits.
How to avoid COVID-19 government imposter scams
Many of us are paying close attention to the guidance from federal, state, and local governments during this COVID-19 health emergency. Unfortunately, scammers are also paying attention. Some are even pretending to be affiliated with the government – just to scam you out of money.
COVID-19 contact tracing text message scams
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about contact tracing. It’s the process of identifying people who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, instructing them to quarantine and monitoring their symptoms daily. The tracer who calls will not ask for personal information, like a Social Security number,bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is...
New funding for Coronavirus SBA loans attracts scammers
If you’re a business owner, you may be planning to apply for a loan through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program. These programs recently got hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding. But, while you’re focused on getting a loan, scammers may be focused on you: hoping to trick you into giving them sensitive business information,...
COVID-19 scam reports, by the numbers
If you’re a regular reader of this blog — or of the news, you know that scammers are out in force, taking advantage of all aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus checks: flattening the scam curve
There’s a lot to worry about when it comes to the Coronavirus crisis, including the new ways scammers are using the economic impact payments (so-called “stimulus checks”) to trick people. To keep ahead of scammers who are trying to cash in on those payments, read on.
Grandparent scams in the age of coronavirus
“Grandma: I’m in the hospital, sick, please wire money right away.” “Grandpa: I’m stuck overseas, please send money.” Grandparent scams can take a new twist – and a new sense of urgency – in these days of Coronavirus. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Social Distancing from COVID-19 Robocall Scams
Scammers – and scammy companies – are using illegal robocalls to profit from Coronavirus-related fears. Listen to some of the latest scammy robocall pitches, so you can be on the lookout and know how to respond. (Here’s a hint: hang up!)
Inspector General Warns About New Social Security Benefit Suspension Scam
Today, I am warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirus-related office closures. Social Security will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed.
Federal Stimulus Payment Scam
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an urgent consumer alert urging Michiganders to be on high alert for bad actors aiming to coerce them out of their personal information in a new federal stimulus payment scam.