Watch Out for Scams

The Department urges you to be on high alert for potential scams and promotions.

Scams Using the Department’s Name or Phone Number

The Department has learned that scammers used the Department's name, letterhead, email domain and/or phone number to contact consumers. These contacts are not connected to DFS in any way, and the people or companies using our name and information are not authorized to do so.

If you have received a call, email or letter that appears to be from DFS and want to make sure it is legitimate, call our Consumer Hotline at (800) 342-3736 or email [email protected]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Scams

The Department is aware of a surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) scams using social media and websites, emails and texts. Specific examples of the types of scams, fraud, and abuse of which the Department has become aware include the following:

  • Healthcare enrollment scams: Scammers are impersonating insurance companies, agents, or brokers through robocalls or mass emails attempting to sell bogus insurance plans meant to cover the costs of coronavirus-related illness.

  • Deceptive marketing schemes: Scammers are offering financial products or services that falsely suggest government relief for individuals or small businesses, or seek payments or donations impersonating government agencies or international organizations.

  • Phishing and other cybercrime: Scammers may register fake coronavirus-related websites for the purpose of phishing or infecting users with malware or ransomware that requires bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to unlock, or send mass emails seeking bogus donations or payments in cryptocurrency.

  • Product fraud: Fake companies and websites are claiming to sell, and collecting payment for, medical supplies or other high-demand goods (e.g., N95 facemasks), but never delivering supplies, or companies are selling unapproved or misbranded products that make false health claims relating to COVID-19.

  • Foreclosure rescue scams: Scammers promise to “rescue” a homeowner, but actually run scams designed to strip a property’s built-up equity or to steal the title outright. They market their services by plastering signs and posters on telephone poles and bus stops or contact homeowners directly by phone, email or by leaving a flyer at the door.

Protect Yourself

Stay informed by visiting the official websites of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and this website’s coronavirus information section.

At this time there is currently no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent the virus. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued alerts warning consumers and investors of misbranded products alleging to help stop the coronavirus outbreak.

Never do business with anyone who calls you, mails you, or knocks on your door with offers to help fix a foreclosure or default. Do not respond to advertisements and fliers making similar offers. If you are experiencing mortgage-related hardship visit our coronavirus section section to learn what steps to take.

Learn more about these and other types of common scams in our common scams, schemes and frauds section.

Questions and Complaints

If you have received a call, email or letter from DFS and want to make sure it is legitimate, call our Consumer Hotline at (800) 342-3736 or email [email protected]

To file a complaint about a scam involving a financial product or service, use the DFS Consumer Complaint Portal.