- In a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) scam reported to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), criminals claim to be part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. They try to convince people on Facebook that they won a large amount of money and should claim the funds.
- Scammers are after people’s personal information, account information and money.
- Anyone who receives a message on Facebook that claims to come from a friend about winning funds through the CERT program should report it to Facebook and block the friend.
- People should not respond to any suspicious messages on Facebook or click on any links.
- For more information on the FEMA scam involving the CERT program, contact the ITRC toll-free at 888.400.5530, or live-chat with an expert advisor on the company website.
A new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) scam reported to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) shows scammers posing as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program members on Facebook. Criminals message people regarding winning money, and they urge them to contact the CERT program to claim their winnings. Government money program scams often ask for a “transaction fee” or for the “winner” to divulge their personally identifiable information (PII) before they get the money.
Who is the Target
Facebook users and social media profiles
What is the Scam
In this particular FEMA scam, the scammers pose as an individual’s friend on Facebook. The “messenger” tries to convince the Facebook user they won $150,000. However, the “winner” has to contact the CERT program by phone to claim their winning money. These scams can be convincing because some people believe the message is coming from a friend.
What They Want
- Account information
How You Can Avoid Being Scammed
- If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. You should not respond to messages like these, click on any links sent to you, or input any personal information into a form sent to you.
- If the messenger is posing as someone you know and you do respond, ask the messenger a question only the person they claim to be would know to confirm whether or not it is them.
- You should immediately report the message to Facebook. You should also block the person.
If you have questions about the FEMA scam, contact the ITRC. You can speak with an advisor toll-free over the phone (888.400.5530), live-chat on the web, or email firstname.lastname@example.org during business hours. Just visit www.idtheftcenter.org to get started.