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Scam Alerts

High-Cost Internet Plan Resellers:

ACP helps households cut the cost of their internet bill to as low as $0. But some ISP resellers are fooling consumers into choosing “special deals” or bundled services with unnecessary options. But with these plans, consumers wind up paying 2-3 times more than other high-speed internet plans, even with the ACP discount.

Be sure to sign up for special ACP plans that, when used with the ACP $30 benefit, cut your Home Internet bill to $0. Click here for a list of the ACP Home Internet Plans.

ACP for Cell Plans

Many cell phone businesses are trying to convince consumers to use their ACP benefits for a cell phone plan. DON’T BE FOOLED! Only one ACP discount is allowed per household. So if you use the ACP discount for your cell phone plan, other members of your household will not be able to enjoy internet access at home to watch streaming shows, do schoolwork or work from home.

Leave it at home. Make sure to specify that your ACP benefits should be used only for Home Internet. There are other assistance programs, such as the California LifeLine Program, that can be used to lower the cost of a cell plan.

Fake ACP Reps:

Door-to-door reps are promising amazing Home Internet deals. There are two types of scams. The first kind involves skilled scammers who trick you into giving them money or financial information during the sign-up process.

Stay alert — Here are three ways to know you’re signing up for the real ACP:

  • No deposit required. As part of these scams, consumers are asked to provide a deposit or a credit card number — an instant red flag. Applying to the ACP program is 100% free. You will never have to provide a deposit or fee for services.
  • No waiting period. Scammers often insist that the ACP discount will not be applied immediately to your Home Internet bill. That’s another red flag: Once an ACP application is approved, your internet service provider cannot require a waiting period before applying the discount or charge the current market rate before applying the ACP discount.
  • Additional benefits provided. In addition to providing qualifying households with a $30 discount (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands) for home internet service, the ACP also provides the following benefits:
    • If Cox Communications serves your address (primarily in San Diego and Santa Barbara Counties), a one-time discount of up to $100 is provided when purchasing a computer or a tablet
    • Digital literacy courses for qualifying households

Here are tips to steer clear of ACP scammers:

  • Never pay to sign up for ACP benefits.
  • Never give out your financial information.
  • Never apply through a company that tells you cannot change to a lower-priced service
  • Only apply for the ACP benefit through verified and trusted channels, such as:

Report Fraud

If you are approached by anyone passing themselves off as an ACP or government representative or if you have been targeted by this type of scam, please click here to report it immediately by completing the Contact Form.

Know Your Rights

  1. Plan Options: You cannot be forced into accepting a more expensive or lower-quality Home Internet plan by an internet provider in order to receive the ACP benefit.
  2. Changing Providers: You have the freedom to switch providers or cancel your existing internet service. ACP allows you to transfer your ACP benefit once a month — just contact the new internet service provider to start the process.
  3. Bad Credit: You cannot be disqualified from receiving broadband service from an approved provider — even if you have a bad credit rating or a history of service disconnection.
  4. Non-payment: It’s important to pay your monthly internet bill on time. However, if you are unable to make a payment, your internet provider cannot terminate service until you are 90 days or more late on a payment.
  5. Termination Fees: Internet providers cannot charge you termination fees if you decide to cancel your existing internet service and switch to a new provider. There are no charges or additional requirements for switching providers.
  6. Past Due Balance: Internet providers cannot turn you down for ACP benefits based on a past-due balance or a balance in collections.