Consumer Alert: Face mask exemption cards, COVID-19 grant fund making rounds on social media

Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 12:00 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - In this week’s Consumer Alert, Action 2 News has two items to warn you about.

A fake COVID-19 fund promising you money and mask exemption cards that aren’t real is a new fraud going around, and the real government agencies are warning about the imposters.

The hoax claims to give people a way out on wearing a face mask in public.

The Department of Justice sent out a fraud alert about these cards with the DOJ seal.

The card claims to exempt people from wearing a mask under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and includes the ADA phone number to file complaint.

The DOJ says the Freedom to Breathe Agency isn’t a real government agency, and the CDC recommends wearing a mask in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to the fake cards and the seal, there’s also an alert about money from a fake COVID-19 fund.

The fund is the latest phishing scheme, where scammers pretend to be government officials offering grant money from a fund that doesn’t even exist.

It’s one of many coronavirus related scams being reported to the Better Business Bureau’s online scam tracker.

People say they get an e-mail, text or a message through Instagram that looks like it’s from a friend telling them they’ll get money from a COVID-19 global empowerment fund, or something similar.

In the message, you’re asked to respond to respond with banking account information, and then the funds will be transferred, saying it’s coming from the Federal Trade Commission, or another government agency.

This is not true, since there is no such fund.

Consumers are asked to be alert to claims spreading on social media, and due to many people being out of work and with their budgets stretched thin, scammers see this as the perfect opportunity to prey on a person’s emotions to trick them into sharing personal or financial information.

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