COVID-19 Related Scams
If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the U.S. Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, or another government agency offering COVID-19-related grants or economic impact payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond. These are scams. Visit the U.S. Treasury’s website if you suspect economic impact payment fraud. Report Social Security scams about COVID-19.
Social Security Administration (SSA): The SSA is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19-related office closures. SSA will not suspend or discontinue benefits because the offices are closed to the public for in-person service. Read this and other fraud advisories.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): HHS is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to COVID-19. For example, scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate. Learn about this and other COVID-19 fraud from HHS. [source: Social Security Administration]
United States Postal Service (USPS): The USPS has issued a public service announcement about COVID-related scams in the mail, including scams about stimulus checks, COVID cures, personal protective equipment, etc. For more information, please visit the USPS website.
U.S. Census Bureau: The Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census. Furthermore, the Census Bureau will never ask for:
- Your Social Security number.
- Your bank account or credit card numbers.
- Anything on behalf of a political party.
- Money or donations.
If you suspect fraud, call 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative. If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program: There are numerous scams targeting small businesses interested in the Paycheck Protection Program. For example, a recently reported scam involves a malicious PDF included in an email from “email@example.com.” Do not click links or download attachments; instead go directly to the SBA website. Report suspected scams to the SBA’s hotline at (800) 767-0385, or file a complaint online.
U.S. Treasury: Unsolicited phone calls, text messages, or emails purporting to be from the Treasury Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, FinCEN, OFAC, the Treasury “Office of Legal Affairs”, or even from the Secretary of The Treasury, are frauds. U.S. Treasury fraud alerts can be found on their website.