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COVID-19 Scams and Fraud

As the federal government takes financial actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers should be wary of fraudulent solicitations that appear to be made with the approval or involvement of the Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve officials, or other U.S. government officials. Such offers often promise bogus financial services or sums of money in exchange for either payment or personal information that is used later to commit fraud or theft.

The Federal Reserve provides banking services only to banks, not individuals, and does not communicate directly with consumers on financial matters. There are no individual accounts in Federal Reserve Banks and the Fed has no involvement in these solicitations.

Consumers also should be especially wary of fraudulent solicitations in general. These scams often take the form of e-mail messages, letters, and telephone calls that seek to obtain an individual's personally identifiable information that is later used to commit fraud or theft.

Consumers are strongly urged to verify the legitimacy of potential service providers before entering into a business transaction. Individuals who suspect their personal financial information has been compromised should contact their financial institution and law enforcement officials.

Additional Resources

AARP:

Coronavirus Scams Spread as Fraudsters Follow the Headlines

Bankrate:

3 Types of Coronavirus Scams to Watch Out For

Consumer Reports:

How to Avoid Coronavirus Phishing Scams

Department of Homeland Security - The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA):

Defending Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams

Federal Trade Commission:

Coronavirus Scams – What the FTC is Doing

FTC: Coronavirus Scams, Part 2

Forbes:

Coronavirus Scams: Watch Out For These Efforts To Exploit The Pandemic

Microsoft:

Protecting Against Coronavirus Themed Phishing Attacks

National Cyber Security Alliance:

COVID-19 Security Resource Library

US Department of Justice:

COVID-19 Fraud

World Health Organization:

Beware of Criminals Pretending to Be WHO