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Scammers looking to take advantage of programs set up to help grieving families impacted by COVID-19

WSMV Nashville logo WSMV Nashville 8/3/2021
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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - With so many families losing loved ones due to COVID across the country, AARP is sending out an alert. They’re warning families about fraudsters looking to take advantage of you.

FEMA has received reports of scammers reaching out to people offering to register them for funeral assistance. Don’t fall for it.

FEMA is offering funds to help pay funeral and burial expenses if a person died after Jan. 20, 2020, in the United States from COVID-19 and if certain other conditions are met. That’s where scammers are coming into trick people by calling them and hurting families. The scammers offer to register families for funeral assistance.

That’s not how the program works.

Ed Michael Reggie, CEO and founder of funeralocity.com, said FEMA will never call you directly.

“Everyone should be very aware that the only way you can get FEMA money is to call FEMA’s 844 number, and that’s on the funeralocity.com website,” Reggie said. “You can go see it, but you’ve got to call or you’ll never hear from FEMA.”

Remember to never disclose your information, such as your name, birth date or social security number of any deceased family member to anyone in an unsolicited phone call or an email claiming to come from FEMA or another federal agency.

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