During the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers may try to take advantage of you. They might get in touch by phone, email, postal mail, text, or social media. Protect your money and your identity. Don't share personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth. Learn how to recognize and report a COVID vaccine scam and other types of coronavirus scams.
Common Coronavirus Scams
Scammers change their methods frequently. Current coronavirus scams include:
- Identity theft when people post a photo of their vaccination card on social media - Don't post a photo of your vaccination card online. Scammers can see and steal your name, birthdate, and other personal information.
- COVID-19 testing, vaccine, and treatment scams - Don't trust offers to get early access to the approved vaccine. And be aware that scammers are also targeting Medicare recipients. They're offering COVID-19 testing in an attempt to steal personal information.
- Charity scams - Fake charities pop up during disasters. And scammers can also claim to be from real charities. Learn how to research charity claims and protect your money.
- Checks from the government - Scammers say they’re from the IRS or another government agency. They ask for your personal information or try to charge you fake fees for getting your stimulus check or offer you a way to get the money early.
- FDIC and banking - People pretend to call from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or your bank. They say your bank account or your ability to get cash are in danger and ask for your personal information.
- Grandparent and military service member scams - A scammer pretends to be a grandchild or a military service member. They say they're sick or in trouble because of the coronavirus. They contact you asking to wire them money to pay for fake medical or travel expenses.
- COVID-19 funeral assistance scam - Scammers pretend to be from FEMA's COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program and call to offer program registration to family members of people who have died from COVID-19. In this way, the scammers can steal the family members' Social Security numbers and other forms of identification.
Report COVID-19 Scams
Report a scam to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.
If it's an online scam, submit your complaint through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Rumors, myths, and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus can be frightening and misleading. Go to FEMA's Rumor Control page to check out the real answers about the rumors you're hearing.
Report Price Gouging
During times of high demand, sellers may raise prices to a very high and unfair level on needed items like:
Household or personal care items
This is called price gouging and it’s illegal. If you suspect price gouging, report it to your state attorney general.