Washington News Bureau

FTC warns people not to fall for government emergency broadband program impersonators

WASHINGTON — Internet access has become more essential than ever during the pandemic, and now there’s a warning about scammers trying to cash in on people without reliable internet.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a real program meant to help people get digitally connected during the pandemic.

The FTC is warning people about scammers pretending to be part of that program to get unsuspecting people to hand over their money, personal, or financial information.

The program gives people a one-time discount to buy a laptop, desktop computer or a tablet and it gives monthly discounts for internet service.

The FTC wants people to know that it’s free to sign up and any claims about paying upfront for a connected device are scams.

If you are interested in applying for the program, you should sign up at GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

The emergency broadband program is temporary and will end either once the government funds for it run out or six months after public health officials declare the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.