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As we publish this post, a second stimulus package has not yet been finalized by Congress. While there’s a lot we don’t know, we DO know a few things about what scammers do when this kind of uncertainty is in the headlines.

If there’s another stimulus payment, you won’t have to pay to get it. Just like last time. Nobody will call to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Expect any stimulus program to look a lot like the first one: people who qualify would get money direct deposited, or you’d get a debit card or check mailed to the address you use for your taxes. The details will follow, if a bill gets signed into law. In the meantime, don’t pay to get any economic impact payment, and keep your info to yourself.

Don’t pay for job “opportunities.” Scammers know that lots of people need to find a job, and they’ll be happy to charge you for what winds up being nothing. Scammers also pay for online ads, promising you ways to earn money online. But do your research before you sign up — and certainly before you pay.

Never pay up front for mortgage help. In fact, it’s illegal for companies to charge you before they help you with your mortgage — but that doesn’t stop scammers from trying. If you find yourself behind on your mortgage, talk with your mortgage servicer right away to see what options you have. And whether you own or rent, it’s worth talking with a legal services organization if you feel like things are taking a hard turn south toward foreclosure or eviction.

They may be able to help you figure out a solution. If you spot one of these scams — or any scam at all, please tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

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13 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Adaley
August 14, 2020
Gracias por todas las informaciones son muy valiosa y no ayudan a protegernos. Siempre estoy al día con las información que nos envian.
Neon
August 11, 2020
Very well
reddel
August 11, 2020
The scammer is calling people to pretend they are a worker's for an agency that can help you with your information. Another important factor is that they copy the information contained on this website or the same level of detail just like you did received this message from email and create a script to embed or link website for Phishing. Always check out the sender immediately and once you see this sender is not legitimate DO NOT OPEN the attachment or click the link.
Sharon
August 11, 2020
When someone calls you and they already known's your name, than they say just for security purpose they may ask you to recite something personal about yourself, such as your Birthday, Address, last four SS# ,"Think First" if they already known you! they don't need that information if they are legit they should already have that info:! just hang up. Some of us get those phone calls that try really hard to prompt you to say YES, try to keep that word out of your vocabulary when answering the phone. Stay Safe God Bless.
cindyludana
August 11, 2020
Thank you For the heads up!
Dummy
August 11, 2020

In reply to by cindyludana

Got suckered into scam by scammer representing themselves as from social security assn. They stated my ssn was involved in drug trafficing and money laundrying in Texas . I called back because the area code of their message was close to the area code of my local ssn office , I complete overlooked that tip off. They threaten you with arrest and freeze of your accounts etc and offer to help you avoid that by requesting your personal info. Don't fall for it just hang up, I wish I did !
Bob Harber
August 13, 2020

In reply to by cindyludana

I am very caution giving information on the phone. When a scammer calls I ask questions get their name, then after I determine it's a scam I inform the caller that I will call them back after I do a check on them! They hang up immediately.
KO
August 11, 2020
Thanks for the heads up.
Pokey
August 17, 2020
WHEN will FCC do something about these SCAMMER CALLS for LAND LINES? You COULD ban the spoofing ap and punish phone companies that ALLOW IT. You COULD BLOCK IT. IM SO SICK AND TIRED OF NOT BEING ABLE TO ANSWER MY PHONE ANYMORE PLEASE DO MORE. LAND LINES MATTER TOO. ITS EFFECTING EVERYONES MENTAL HEALTH TO BE HARRASSED DAILY
FTC Staff
August 17, 2020

In reply to by Pokey

You could ask your carrier if it has services to block unwanted calls on landlines.Some services are free, but others charge a monthly fee. 

You could install a call blocking device on the phone. Some call blocking devices use blacklists to stop unwanted calls. Some call blocking devices divert calls to voicemail so you don't have to answer the phone.

Some devices use whitelists of approved numbers that will ring through.

 

Donnini7
August 14, 2020
I have received about 30 messages this morning about collecting money that is there waiting for me and needs to be collected. It was no from a govern unemployment agency. be careful
Bertie Johnson
August 28, 2020
Government needs to think of the people in need instead of how they can spend lots of cash on postal for voting and send out the stimulus checks to the people we should come before government support and all we work all our life and pay taxes but am getting the shaft wake up Congress. We matter too
David Skelton
July 09, 2021
Has anybody heard of a company trying to help get your stimulus relief package for the 2019 pandemic called edd