COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Better Call 4 alert for anyone hoping to take advantage of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
You may remember the program, announced earlier this year, that offers temporary, $50 discounts to families struggling to afford internet access during the pandemic, as well as help buying computers.
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission said it was alerted to a website supposedly run by “WiFi Freedom USA” that mimics the legitimate enrollment site, falsely claiming that it can provide consumers with free devices and services. Some consumers even reported seeing advertisements for WiFi Freedom USA’s website on social media platforms.
The FCC said it acted immediately to disable the website and any online advertisements and is working with law enforcement to address the issue.
If you want to look into or sign up for the program, the FCC strongly advises that you:
- Only use the official Emergency Broadband Benefit website to do so.
- If you contact a participating provider directly to enroll, verify that they are approved to participate in the program first (by visiting https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers)
- Or, you can apply by mail using a paper application.
If you’re concerned that you signed up for the program through WiFi Freedom USA, visit IdentityTheft.gov. If you made any payments, the FCC suggests contacting your financial institution to see if there are any remedies available to you. You can also file a report about government imposter fraud with the Federal Trade Commission at Reportfraud.ftc.gov and get information about how to recover any money you paid.