Criminals target Covid relief program that pays $9,000 in victims’ funeral costs

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Criminals are focusing on a brand new federal program that pays as much as $9,000 in funeral costs for a liked one who died of Covid-19, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday.

The Covid-19 Funeral Assistance program, overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, opened to candidates on Monday. Individuals have had bother getting by because of excessive quantity, officers mentioned.

Fraudsters are contacting folks and impersonating authorities brokers, providing to register them for help, based on the FTC.

“FEMA has not sent any such notifications and we do not contact people before they register for assistance,” based on a fraud alert on the FEMA’s web site.

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About 563,000 folks in the U.S. have died from Covid-19, based on Johns Hopkins University.

Criminals could ask for cost to entry the monetary assist, based on the FTC.

They may request delicate private or monetary data like Social Security, checking account or bank card numbers of would-be victims or a deceased relative.

The authorities program is supposed for people who incurred funeral costs for a liked one who died after Jan. 20, 2020 from Covid-19.

The program was funded by two prior rounds of federal Covid relief, a $900 billion measure in December and final month’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

Eligible bills embrace, amongst different issues: caskets or urns, burial plots, headstones, officiant companies, and cremation or internment costs. Individuals can stand up to $9,000 per funeral and a most of $35,500 per utility per state.

There’s no revenue restrict to use for the funds. Documentation, akin to a loss of life certificates and receipts, is required.

The program has been tormented by technical points because of preliminary excessive name quantity, based on FEMA. Individuals should apply by cellphone.

“The call center has received thousands of calls this morning, which is causing some technical issues,” the company mentioned Monday.

“We ask that applicants be patient as we work to correct these issues and have all their important documents ready when they call,” it added.

There is not at the moment a deadline to use.

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