Scammers are taking advantage of the fact that because of COVID-19, unemployment rates are high and many people’s cash flows are low.
Fraudsters stop at nothing — not even a pandemic — to trick you into sharing your personal or financial information, the Federal Trade Commission stated in a news release.
The FTC added that scammers even include posing as government officials from the federal agency to gain your trust. A fake email is circulating from someone claiming to be from the FTC. The scam email states that you’ll get money from a COVID-19 “Global Empowerment Fund.” All you need to do is respond with your bank account information and funds will be transferred into your account. However, the FTC says it's a scam.
There’s no money and there’s no fund. And it’s not from the FTC. If you get a message like this, don’t respond. Instead, report it to the real FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
The FTC says it will never contact an individual by phone, email, text message, or social media to ask for financial information. (Or your Social Security number.) Anyone who does is phishing for your information.
If you’re getting an economic stimulus payment, that money will come from the Internal Revenue Service. If you think you gave your financial information to a scammer, go to IdentityTheft.gov for steps you can take to protect yourself.
To keep up with the latest scams, you can sign up for the FTC's consumer alerts.