(CBS DETROIT) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reissued her consumer alert as scammers are targeting COVID-19 survivors. These scammers are calling victims and offering to register them for funeral assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA is offering funds to help pay for funeral expenses that people have paid since January 20, 2020, for loved ones who died of COVID-19.

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The agency says they do not contact people before they register for assistance.

Scammers are targeting potential applicants, offering to register them for this assistance to steal personal information.

“I’ll say it again: bad actors will do whatever it takes to make a quick buck or steal your personal information, and that includes taking advantage of your grief,” Nessel said. “FEMA will not contact you until you have called their agency or applied for assistance. Anyone who contacts you unsolicited and claims to be a government employee or from FEMA is a scammer.”

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Tips to avoid being scammed:

  • FEMA will not contact you until you have called FEMA or have applied for assistance.
  • The government won’t ask you to pay anything to get this financial help.
  • The government won’t call, text, email, or contact you on social media and ask for your social security, bank account, or credit card number.
  • Don’t give your own or your deceased loved one’s personal or financial information to anyone who contacts you out of the blue.

If you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from FEMA, hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

For more information about FEMA’s funeral assistance program, call 844-684-6333 or visit their Frequently Asked Questions page on the FEMA website.

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