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The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a pandemic relief program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that provides a discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If eligible, your household can receive up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

Congress recently created the Affordable Connectivity program, a new, long-term $14 billion program that will replace the shorter-term Emergency Broadband Benefit program in 2022.

This amazing program has helped many Commonwealth consumers stay connected during a time of financial hardship, but unfortunately, it has also given fraudsters a new way to scam those in need. Skilled scammers use robocalls, emails, and even advertisements on social media to trick unwitting consumers into giving them money or personal information, in return for the promise of helping them sign up for a free device and internet service.

Here are some tips on how to avoid this sinister scam:

  • Never pay to sign up for benefits. The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is free to sign up for those who qualify.
  • Don’t trust a book by its cover. Just because it looks credible doesn’t mean you can trust it. Scammers will use government seals and even spoofed phone numbers and email addresses to appear genuine.
  • Only apply through the FCC and its listed providers. The only real way to sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefits Program is at GetEmergencyBroadband.org. Do not give money or personal information to anyone who calls, texts, or emails you claiming to be the FCC. If another company says it can sign you up for this program, check first to see if they’re an approved provider. You can also call (833)511-0311 with any questions or concerns.

If you think you have been targeted by this or any other scam report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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