Identity theft scam claims FTC will send you COVID-19 relief money

Reporter: Rich Kolko Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Seal of Federal Trade Commission.

Making ends meet during this pandemic is tough for many Americans, so the opportunity for extra cash is appealing. But scammers know that and are claiming to send you money as the Federal Trade Commission to get you to give away personal information.

Rebecca Slaughter is the acting chairwoman of the FTC, but she isn’t sending out an email telling you that the FTC will be sending your coronavirus relief money.

It’s an identity theft scam and they want your personal and banking information.

“They’re telling you the FTC is paying out extra money for people that need help. The FTC does not do that. That is not their job, but they’re using it as tool to get between you and your information or you and your money,” said Carrie Kerskie, a cyber scam expert with The Kerskie Group.

The FTC has put out a statement saying scammers took Slaughter’s email and she is not offering you money.

There are several ways for you to know this is a scam:

  • They ask you to confirm personal information
  • They tell you to click on a link to receive or make a payment
  • It says you are eligible for an expected government refund
  • Or that there is a problem with your account

Do not make it easier for criminals. Never provide personal or financial information to someone you don’t know. Don’t only be wary of just email solicitations. This type of scam can also come in a phone call or post on social media.

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