Money for the funeral of the dead from COVID-19: scammers deceive people who are entitled to help
Even before it was introduced US government program offering financial assistance for the funeral of people who died from COVID-19, scammers began to offer potential applicants to receive assistance in the amount of up to $ 9000. Writes about it CBS News.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), scammers are trying to steal personal information. They target potential applicants for real help and invite them to register for the program.
“We have received reports of scammers who are asking people to register to help them. FEMA has not sent any such notifications, and we do not contact people before they register for assistance, ”the agency said in a statement.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, anyone who has not called FEMA must not disclose any information about themselves or their deceased relative, including proof of name, date of birth, or Social Security number.
Also, do not respond to emails or text messages from anyone claiming to be from FEMA or any other government agency.
The FEMA warning comes after the agency received more than a million calls about the funeral expenses program, which went into effect on April 12.
“There was a flurry of calls on the first day of the line opening, which created some problems,” said FEMA Acting Director Bob Fenton. - On the second day, it became a little freer. And I am sure that today will be much better than yesterday. "
The agency will allocate up to $ 9000 for funerals and up to $ 35 for each applicant to cover costs associated with a death from COVID-500 after January 19, 20. More than 2020 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
FEMA has decided to enroll people over the phone rather than the internet to add a human element to the process, Fenton told lawmakers. “We want to be sure that we are sensitive and compassionate to help everyone who needs it,” he explained.
Information Needed to Request Help
The agency recommends potential candidates to start collecting the following information:
• An official death certificate that links a person's death to COVID-19 and shows that it overtook the deceased in the United States. The certificate should be sure to indicate that the death "could be caused" or "most likely was the result of COVID-19."
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• Funeral documents, which include the name of the applicant, the name of the deceased, the amount of funeral expenses and their date. These include, among other things, the receipts and the funeral home contract.
• Confirmation of funds received from other sources specifically to cover the costs of the funeral. Funeral Aid cannot duplicate payments received from funeral insurance or financial aid provided by voluntary agencies, federal / state / local / tribal / territorial government programs, or other sources.
For more information on the program, visit the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance website | Fema.gov.
The economic aid package passed by Congress in December included $ 2 billion in FEMA. This should help the “individual or family to cover the costs of the funeral” made before December 31, 2020.
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