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Consumer Alert: The Federal Government May Be Shutting Down. Now What?

Friday, September 29, 2023

The federal government may shut down as soon as Sunday. Many of us will experience the results of this shutdown in our daily lives, but we don’t want to let scammers make it even worse. It is important to stay vigilant against scammers who will try to use this time of uncertainty to scam you out of your hard-earned money. To protect yourself and your loved ones, follow the below tips and make sure to stay updated on how this federal government shutdown could impact you.

  • As a result of the shutdown, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) national Do Not Call registry and consumer system will be offline. Scammers may use this opportunity to ramp up scam calls to try and get your money and personal information. If you receive a spam call during the government shutdown, file a complaint with our office at ncdoj.gov/complaint. Be sure not to answer calls from phone numbers you do not recognize and never give your personal information out over the phone.
  • A shutdown could limit air travel or cause long lines, delays, or cancellations. Make sure to get written documentation of your trip details and pay with a credit card to improve your chances of getting a refund.
  • Some of the federally-funded state programs will be impacted. Scammers might try to use this to their advantage by reaching out and promising you assistance for a small fee. If someone offers assistance in replacement for a program that is usually funded through a federal program, it is likely a scam.
  • Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For more tips on how to avoid scams, you can visit www.ncdoj.gov/protecting-consumers/.

If you are concerned that you’ve been the victim of a scam, please report it to our office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online at www.ncdoj.gov/complaint.

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