Recognize - Protect - Report | COVID-19 Crime

COVID-19 fraud and scams continue to develop. Below are some red flags and tips from the Department of Homeland Security to help you recognize, protect and report COVID-19 related crimes.

Crime Icon

COVID-19 Frauds and Scams

Red FlagRed Flags

  • Emails, text messages or calls offering goods, services, loans or debt relief
  • Unusual payment methods such as cryptocurrency, prepaid debit cards, and gift cards
  • Calls, texts or emails from anyone claiming to be from a government agency

CheckTips

  • Government agencies will not call, text or email you. Do not give out your personal information to anyone requesting it.
  • Government agencies will not call or email about economic impact payments and will not refer to “stimulus.” Never open this type of email or click on attachments.

Consumer Tip – Check the mail for economic impact payments being sent by check and use government websites directly rather than using a link. Beware of anyone offering to send you funds more quickly if you’ll provide them with your account information or asking you to deposit your check and send money back to them because you were paid more than you should have been. These are fake check scams.

Business Tip – Work directly with your bank to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program offered by the Small Business Administration and be cautious of offers for loans and various debt relief programs from others.

Shopping cart on computer screen

Online Shopping

Red FlagRed Flags

  • Unsolicited texts and emails
  • Websites that do not have HTTPS in the browser bar
  • Online shopping websites without a trust seal
  • “Government” websites with addresses that do not end in .gov

CheckTips

  • If a deal seems too good, it probably is.
  • Be on the lookout for price gouging.
  • Verify that online shopping sites are legitimate and trusted.
  • Inspect the URL of websites and verify the actual destination before visiting sites.

Report Suspicious and Fraudulent Activity

You can report COVID-19 related fraud or scams directly to the Department of Homeland Security by emailing them at covid19fraud@dhs.gov.

Learn more about COVID-19 Fraud Protection.