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Identity Theft

Avoid marketing scams during 2022 Medicare Open Enrollment

During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which begins on October 15 and ends December 7, Medicare beneficiaries can choose the plans that are best for them for 2022. You can get help comparing Medicare plans from your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), available in each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Private insurance companies administer, market, and sell Medicare Advantage (MA, Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D), so it’s important to understand your rights and some of the limits on marketing. That way you’ll be prepared if an insurance broker or agent tries to enroll you in a Medicare plan that isn’t right for you.

Phishing scheme targets unemployment insurance benefits and PII

Have you gotten an alarming text message about your unemployment insurance benefits from what seems to be your state workforce agency? You’re not alone. Identity thieves are targeting millions of people nationwide with scam phishing texts aimed at stealing personal information, unemployment benefits, or both.

Scammers cash in on confusion over vaccine verification methods

More than a year into the pandemic, and months after the first rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, people are eager to get back to their regular activities. But some activities might require you to show that you’ve been vaccinated or had a recent negative COVID-19 test. How you do that may depend on the activity and where you live. The patchwork approach gives scammers an opportunity to cash in on the confusion. Here are a few ways to help stay ahead of the scammers.

COVID vaccines are FREE!

Scammers are doubling down on their efforts to scam people out of their money and personal information. That’s why the FTC and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) are teaming up to remind you: No matter what anyone tells you, you can’t buy COVID-19 vaccines online and there’s no out-of-pocket cost to get the shots. Here are some ways to avoid a vaccine-related scam.

Give yourself some credit (reports)

One important back-to-basics step you can take this Financial Literacy Month (or anytime) is checking your credit report. 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Scammers reportedly using fake unemployment benefits websites as phishing lures

At a time when many people left jobless by the pandemic are struggling to get by, scammers reportedly are using websites that mimic government unemployment insurance (UI) benefits websites. These sites trick people into thinking they’re applying for UI benefits, and they wind up giving the scammers their personal information.

What to do if you’re billed for an SBA EIDL loan you don’t owe

Did you get a bill for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, but you didn’t apply for one? It’s likely that an identity thief applied for the loan using your personal or business information. The SBA has new guidance about reporting the fraud, and the FTC has tips to help you clear up any credit problems it may cause. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration isn’t calling

We’re getting reports about scammers pretending to be Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. They’re trying to get your money and personal information, and using alarming phone calls to do it.

Identity Theft Awareness Week starts today

In 2020, the FTC got about 1.4 million reports of identity theft, double the number from 2019. Repeatedly, identity thieves targeted government funds earmarked to help people hard hit financially by the pandemic. Join us for Identity Theft Awareness Week, February 1-5. Learn about protecting yourself from identity theft, and recovering if it happens to you.

Avoid scammers offering to pay your rent

If you’re facing eviction for any reason, there are organizations out there who can help you. But there are also fake “organizations” and “charities” who can hurt you. There are ways to protect yourself if you're looking for rental assistance.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

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