Last Updated on January 4, 2022Home » Blog » News » Scam Alerts »
Emergency Broadband Program Impersonators
If you see any online ads offering help with signing up for a government program that will get you free internet devices and services, watch out. These ads are likely to be Emergency Broadband Program Impersonators after your personal details and or money.
What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a government scheme designed to help low-income families with broadband costs during the pandemic. Eligible households can receive the following benefits:
- Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
The genuine Emergency Broadband Benefit Program can be found at GetEmergencyBroadband.org. On this website, you can check if you are eligible and apply for assistance from the program.
What is the Scam?
The scammers are attempting to convince people they must pay money to enroll in the scheme. Or they are encouraging people to click on a link that will take them to a fake website. And the phony webpage is nothing more than a Phishing scam to get hold of people’s confidential information.
How to Avoid Emergency Broadband Program Scams
Government impersonators are extremely good at making you think they are genuine. So, be on your guard for unsolicited emails or text messages purporting to be from government organizations. And always check you are on the official government website.
The Emergency Broadband Benefits Program is run by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). Here’s how to avoid the Avoid Emergency Broadband Program scams.
Check Eligibility and Apply Online at the Official Get Emergency Broadband website
You can check your eligibility and apply for assistance at getemergencybroadband.org. This website is the only official Emergency Broadband Benefits Program application site. It’s straightforward to use, and you don’t have to pay anything.
Check That Suppliers are Approved
If a third-party company contacts and says it can sign you up for the program, check that the organization is approved by the FCC. You will find a list of approved broadband providers on the FCC website.
Don’t Pay Any Money!
You never have to pay to receive benefits. And the Emergency Broadband Benefits Program is no exception to that rule. So, please do not hand over any money to register for this or any other government benefit program.
Don’t Divulge Personal Information to Government Impersonators
If someone contacts you claiming to be the FCC, it is likely to be a scam. So, don’t divulge any personal information over the phone or in a text or email. And be wary of following any links in a text or email. If you believe a caller may be genuine, contact the Emergency Broadband Support Center to confirm. You will find the number on the FCC website.
Impersonating a government organization is a common ruse of scammers. They can appear genuine and even spoof phone numbers. But government organizations will not ask you to pay to receive a benefit. And they will not ask for personal details over the phone. So, it is best to contact the agency concerned via its official website before you do anything.
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