Coronavirus scam warning

COVID-19 Consumer Scams

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States, the FCC has learned of scam text-message campaigns and robocalls that prey on virus-related fears.

COVID-19 text scams may falsely advertise a cure or offer bogus tests.

COVID-19 Text Scams

Scammers can use links in text messages to install malicious code on your phone or launch a phony webpage to collect personal, health insurance, or financial information for use in other scams. COVID-19 text message scams offer cures, warnings about the need for a test, or "special offers." Do not click on links in texts related to the virus, and check cdc.gov/coronavirus for the most current information.

Some text scams are impersonating government agencies. The FCC has learned of a text scam claiming to be from the "FCC Financial Care Center" and offering $30,000 in COVID-19 relief. There is no FCC program to provide relief funds to consumers. The text is likely a phishing attempt to get banking or other personal information from its victims.

The Better Business Bureau is warning of a text message scam impersonating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recipients are told they must take a "mandatory online COVID-19 test" using a provided link.

Another government imposter text begins with "IRS COVID-19 News" and includes a link and instructions for recipients "to register/update your information in order to receive the economic impact payment regardless of your status." The link points to a website designed to look like the IRS's and requests identifying information, including date of birth, social security number and filing status. Ultimately, it requests a debit or credit card number to "verify your identity."

The FCC has also learned of other bogus consumer offers with coronavirus hooks, such as a text scam offering five months of free Netflix service. If you receive a suspicious text purportedly from Netflix, the company has a webpage with instructions for what to do.

If you think you've been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately.

The FCC offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from scams, including coronavirus scams:

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you're being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.

Tips for Avoiding COVID-19 Scams

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you're being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)

If you think you've been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately.

For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center and the FCC Scam Glossary. You can also file a complaint about such scams at fcc.gov/complaints.

Bureau/Office: 
Consumer and Governmental Affairs

COVID-19 Consumer Scams

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States, the FCC has learned of scam text-message campaigns and robocalls that prey on virus-related fears.

COVID-19 text scams may falsely advertise a cure or offer bogus tests.


COVID-19 Text Scams

Scammers can use links in text messages to install malicious code on your phone or launch a phony webpage to collect personal, health insurance, or financial information for use in other scams. COVID-19 text message scams offer cures, warnings about the need for a test, or "special offers." Do not click on links in texts related to the virus, and check cdc.gov/coronavirus for the most current information.

Some text scams are impersonating government agencies. The FCC has learned of a text scam claiming to be from the "FCC Financial Care Center" and offering $30,000 in COVID-19 relief. There is no FCC program to provide relief funds to consumers. The text is likely a phishing attempt to get banking or other personal information from its victims.

The Better Business Bureau is warning of a text message scam impersonating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recipients are told they must take a "mandatory online COVID-19 test" using a provided link.

Another government imposter text begins with "IRS COVID-19 News" and includes a link and instructions for recipients "to register/update your information in order to receive the economic impact payment regardless of your status." The link points to a website designed to look like the IRS's and requests identifying information, including date of birth, social security number and filing status. Ultimately, it requests a debit or credit card number to "verify your identity."

The FCC has also learned of other bogus consumer offers with coronavirus hooks, such as a text scam offering five months of free Netflix service. If you receive a suspicious text purportedly from Netflix, the company has a webpage with instructions for what to do.

If you think you've been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately.

The FCC offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from scams, including coronavirus scams:

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you're being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.

Tips for Avoiding COVID-19 Scams

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you're being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)

If you think you've been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately.

For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center and the FCC Scam Glossary. You can also file a complaint about such scams at fcc.gov/complaints.

Bureau/Office: 
Consumer and Governmental Affairs