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As the federal government takes financial actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers should be wary of fraudulent solicitations that appear to be made with the approval or involvement of the Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve officials, or other U.S. government officials. Such offers often promise bogus financial services or sums of money in exchange for either payment or personal information that is used later to commit fraud or theft.

The Federal Reserve provides banking services only to banks, not individuals, and does not communicate directly with consumers on financial matters. There are no individual accounts in Federal Reserve Banks and the Fed has no involvement in these solicitations.

Consumers also should be especially wary of fraudulent solicitations in general. These scams often take the form of e-mail messages, letters, and telephone calls that seek to obtain an individual's personally identifiable information that is later used to commit fraud or theft.

Consumers are strongly urged to verify the legitimacy of potential service providers before entering into a business transaction. Individuals who suspect their personal financial information has been compromised should contact their financial institution and law enforcement officials.

Resources for consumers

Department of Justice

Combatting Coronavirus Fraud, Combatting Hoarding and Price Gouging, and Frequently Asked Questions

Federal Trade Commission

Scam alerts

Coronavirus Scams: Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Scams & What the FTC is Doing

Coronavirus Scams: Common scams we’re seeing and steps you can take to protect yourself

Department of Homeland Security - The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

CISA information and updates on COVID-19

Defending Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams

More on COVID-19 from the Minneapolis Fed