FTC issues warning about COVID-19 money scams

FTC issues warning about COVID-19 money scams

March 18, 2020

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the federal government has discussed several proposals involving sending money by check or direct deposit to American consumers.

While the details are still being worked out, the Federal Trade Commission posted a blog entry on several important things consumers should know, no matter what the final decision turns out to be.

Jennifer Leach, associate director of FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education, says:

  • The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
  • The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • These reports of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.

She also urged consumers who spot one of these scams to submit a complaint to the FTC. The agency also maintains a page with up-to-date information on the latest COVID-19 related scams.

Credit unions are also on high alert for COVID-19 fraud, and CUNA News highlighted efforts credit unions have already taken to stop scams.