REGION — While many of our friends and neighbors work together to respond and recover from COVID-19, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warns residents to be on the look-out for scammers targeting those affected by the pandemic.
These criminals often pretend to be in the government, contacting people by robocall, text message, email or social media. They offer financial help for money or personal information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers—but their real goal is to make money from, or steal the identity of, their victims.
Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, U.S. Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control staff never charge for disaster assistance. Residents are urged to be vigilant when offered available benefits and programs. Seek official sources for the most accurate information such as Agency websites or consult with local leaders.
To dispel some of the false rumors circulating on the internet and social media, FEMA created a dedicated website to address some of the most common questions. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Visit https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/rumor-control to get the most accurate information from trusted sources.
The Federal Trade Commission scams page has tips to help avoid scams online, on the phone, by text and through email. New Englanders are also urged to report any scams they encounter to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint, or contact their state’s Attorney General.
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