Skip to main content

Scammers are experts at shifting tactics and changing their messages to catch you off guard. This is especially true as they take advantage of anxieties related to the Coronavirus. Here’s a quick alert about some current government imposter scams using COVID-19 that are popping up on our radar.

Medicare scams

Scammers might call to offer things like a “COVID-19 kit,” “Coronavirus package,” or Medicare benefits related to the virus. But they’ll ask you to verify personal information like your bank account, Social Security, or Medicare numbers. If you get a call from someone who says they’re a Medicare representative and they ask for this information, hang up. It’s a scam, not Medicare calling. Report it to the FTC at

To hear what one scammy Medicare call sounds like, listen to this:

Medicare Scams sound like this

Relief payment messages from “government agencies”

The FTC is getting a lot of reports about fraudulent calls, texts, and emails coming from people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration, IRS, Census, USCIS and the FDIC. These fake government messages might say that you’re approved for money, can get quick relief payments, or get cash grants due to the Coronavirus. Scammers might also promise you small business loans, or send a (phishing) alert that a check is ready to be picked up. These are all scams, and none of those messages come from a government agency.

If you respond to these calls or messages, they might ask you for money, personal information, or both. Don’t give it. And remember that the surest sign of a scam is anyone who asks you to send cash, pay with a gift card, wire money, or pay with cryptocurrency.

Stay on top of all types of imposter scams by visiting, and sign up for the FTC’s Consumer Alerts to get the latest on all kinds of scams.

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • 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

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.

April 10, 2020
I HAVE BEEN (( SCAM )) FROM (( 2017 /// UP TOO (( NOW )) HAVE (( REPORTED )) IT TOO (( THE (( F,,B,,I.. AND ... F,,,T,,,C,,, AND (( WAS )) TOLD )) (( THEY ARE (( WORKING ON IT // )) (( SO JUST WANT TOO (( THANK YOU ALL (( FOR )) FOLLOWING UP (( ON )) IT )) (( FOR )) //// (( ME )) //// THANK"S AGAIN ////
Jessica Leal
April 14, 2020
Good afternoon I am Colombian and I reside in Colombia, a few weeks ago I was contacted by email for having a LINKEDIN ​​account, notifying me by MICROSOFT CORPORATION and the MICROSOFT FOUNDATION, where they told me that I had been one of the winners or beneficiaries of a sum of $ 168,214.00 US dollars as aid funds by COVID19, which will send certain bank account details for said transfer. After presenting these data, I have been informed that the United States IRS has blocked the transfer, which supposedly went to 90% of the transfer, for the non-payment of a certain tax for not being a resident or US citizen, for which I should pay the sum of $ 1,682.14 dollars, and as I have informed the people who write to me posing as entrepreneurs of MICROSOFT CORPORATION and the MICROSOFT FOUNDATION, who do not have those resources, they notified me that in that case for non-payment, said aid funds by COVID19 raffled by the MICROSOFT FOUNDATION will be given to local charities. It seems to me the limit that they use the private accounts of LINKEDIN ​​for such acts of scam, and even worse to use the name of the renowned and very prestigious MICROSFOT CORPORATION COMPANY and said FOUNDATION, to defraud citizens not only Americans but foreigners. I appreciate the publication of this message, so that other people do not fall for this type of scam. Thank you.
April 21, 2020
I have received 2 emails in the last day, that were scams trying to get your personal information, by claiming to be related to the COVID-19 situation. Is there a place that we should be contacting or forwarding these scams to?
FTC Staff
April 21, 2020

In reply to by JB

Yes, please report those to The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

Don't use your…
November 21, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I'm not doing this can you to remove spam when there's nothing wrong my phone you've got to be kidding I'm not paying you a nickel do what you may
May 03, 2020
I got a message from a fb friend that my name is on a list for Covid 19 government grant he has been messaging me and has possible took money from me
December 30, 2021

In reply to by Justice2020

I got the same messages saying they would send me 50000 if I put 300$ on a gift card then they would deliver my money
Tired of the s…
July 12, 2020
Go on Instagram cause I promise I know of at least 3000 scammer profiles
August 04, 2020
I saw this post on Facebook which I knew it was a scam but went along with most of it it's the post where you post cash on the comments below so I did they ASKED how much you need the sum of $400-$5000 they said it's government money so I said $5000 I got an email with the $5000 but you had to pay $200 clearance fee I told them I'm alset I'm not falling for your Scam they don't tell you You've gotta pay a clearance fee and second of all how is anyone getting access t government money
August 11, 2020
I received this email. I was almost jumping thinking its reality. the truth is we all need financial support but only to found out its just a SCAM heart breaking I can only trust Jesus... image.png Cowdray House Houghton Street London WC2A 2AE Tel: +44(0)7574977396 Greetings, We are pleased to announce to you the result of the World Health Organization international live sms grant held this July 2020. Your mobile telephone number was attached to ticket number: On behalf of the entire Convid 19 relief palliative team, we wish to congratulate all the sponsors, partners especially Telecom for providing the Mobile Directories for the Relief Programme. Every participant was selected randomly from the computer ballot system. The World Health Organization in collaboration with its Parent Organization United Nations Economic and Social Council looked at the coronavirus pandemic damage on the world economy and decided to help individuals and companies to bounce back to their respective businesses. While basking in the euphoria of this achievement, we wish to seize this opportunity to acquaint you with guidelines that must be followed in order to complete this claim. On our part, we have a mandate to see you through. We will work assiduously to realize this mandate as we respect your views, opinions and most importantly protect your privacy. Please, kindly provide us with the following information for verification of your prize and production of your prize certificate; Full name.......................... .............. Full address....................... ................... Age........................... ..................... Sex........................... ..................... Nationality.............. ........................ Home Telephone #........................... Mobile Telephone #.......................... Occupation................. ..................... We will immediately start the process to facilitate your funds release as soon as you send the required details. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your Winning information confidential until your grant is processed and remitted to you. Any form of double claim Will lead to disqualification. Once again congratulations from members and staff of world Health organization
September 20, 2021

In reply to by ph241

Always watch for misspelled words and bad grammar. They are a good indication of coming from foreign entities. Government missives generally do a spell and grammar check. Also, if you noticed, they called it a Relief Programme. That is the British spelling of Programme which India, Middle Eastern countries, etc, generally learn when they learn English. No American is going to spell it with that "e" on the end. The best rule of thumb is, if you're unsure, check it out. I never click on whatever link they provide. I go to the source, be it Microsoft, a bank, or PayPal. Go to the actual website of the agency/company they say they're from. Also, the IRS and other government entities don't want to be paid in gift cards. They want cash. What use would they have for Walmart gift cards?
August 18, 2020
Randy Roumillat
DDVickn't use …
August 19, 2020
Just received a message on my messenger Facebook using one of my friends profile using them to act as if they just received _50000 from an agency and you will receive the money within 24: hoif s. They are even going as far as to say they will pay part of the fee. I called them on it. I asked a personal question that only the true person could answer. They even said to call the mom as they are with their grandparents. The individuas mother passed. About 6 miss ago. Be careful they are very convincing at first. But they will end up getting caught if you know that individual well. Ask questions before sending any information or money
Don't use your…
February 11, 2021
How about someone saying you could win for a covet relief funds for $450,000 you have to send all kinds of information Bank information and they will bring you your check directly from FedEx
June 08, 2021
Just received this email: This email is to notify you that you have received a COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER GRANT from THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY powered by VISA and MASTER CARD for Individuals, Businesses, Private Non-profits, Homeowners and Renters. Click on the Get Started button bellow to calculate and claim your grant. This will only take 5mins of your time. Get Started
July 08, 2021
This Lydia Ebeling on Facebook is preaching a pch covid 19 census bonus thing you get real money right . What is real money Monopoly money maybe
July 09, 2021
my daughter in manila just minutes ago received a notification that goes this way: "I contacted you COVID 19 RELIEF FUND TO ALL SENIOR CITIZENS. CONTACT THE ADMINISTRATOR this a scam?....Thanks a lot
July 14, 2021
Scammers are also using Facebook messenger
July 17, 2021
August 02, 2021
I have been getting a message that I have won 1 crore 33 lakh cash price from WHO covid solidarity response relief fund and they are asking my bank account no and IFSC code and bank branch will it be scam
August 11, 2021
I received this text today: “ Hello, welcome to the Federal Government COVID-19 Grant Relief dept, You are one of the lucky winners who won the sum of $64,000. Your Name & Contact was drawn electronically and picked randomly you don't need to pay to get your winning. Kindly contact STEVEN WALKER in charge (901) 410-4514”
August 31, 2021
Received this text message... "CLAIM YOUR COVID-19 RELIEF BONUS FUNDS This is an opportunity for you to be among the people who will benefit from the extra pandemic relief bonus set up by president Joe Biden with a sum of $2000 every week as pandemic relief bonus  Contact agent James Marcel for more info on 209-226-9928 about the procedures to follow.. Congratulations as your number was randomly selected among the 600 people that are eligible for the funds!!" Darn sure its a scam!
November 08, 2021
There was someone who was texting my grandma about getting money and stuff and I knew it wasn’t real. I messaged them myself and they got an attitude with me bad because I called them out