Scammers have taken advantage of the pandemic since it began. One of the latest examples is this government impersonator scam, in which ads on social media offer to "help" you sign up for a government program that will give you a "free" device and internet service in exchange for money or personal information. While there is a real government program to help people connect during the pandemic — the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program — there's no payment required to enroll.
Stay Alert – Beware of Latest Pandemic Scam
Government impersonators can look and sound like the real deal. They often use government names (in this case, the FCC) and government seals to get you to open your pockets or share your personal information.
Here are some ways to thwart scammers' attempts to impersonate the FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program:
As always, stay informed and stay aware to avoid becoming a scammer's next victim.
- Only apply through the FCC and its listed providers. The only real way to sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefits Program is at GetEmergencyBroadband.org. If another company says it can sign you up for this program, check first to see if they're an approved provider.
- Never pay to sign up to get benefits. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is free to sign up for those who qualify.
- Don't give your financial or other personal information to someone who calls, texts, or emails and says they're with the FCC. If you think a call or message could be real, stop. Call the Emergency Broadband Support Center at 1-833-511-0311 to check.
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