Scammers can be inventive

Share This Page

If you’ve created a product or service you’re eager to sell, it makes sense to get patent or trademark protection. But some information that looks official might really just be a scam to get your money.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the FTC want you to know that there are companies pretending to be the USPTO or a partner of the USPTO. They’re tricking patent and trademark holders into paying them “fees” for services, but they’re not the USPTO. These companies often send official-looking solicitations that offer to do things like renew your trademark registration, sign you up for trademark monitoring services, record your trademarks with government agencies, or list them on a private “registry.” Nearly always, the services offered are overpriced, unnecessary, or outright deceptive.

The names and emblems these imposters use on their forms help them seem like they’re connected with the USPTO, copying the look of “official” government forms, according to information from the USPTO. Some patent or trademark holders have paid imposters hundreds or even thousands of dollars — mistakenly thinking they were paying fees to the USPTO, or paying fees the USPTO requires, to maintain and protect their patents and trademarks.

Read any notice about your patent or trademark very carefully. Official mail from the USPTO will come from the "United States Patent and Trademark Office" in Alexandria, VA. If it comes via e-mail, the domain will be "@uspto.gov."

The USPTO has information to help you understand the patent application and maintenance process. The FTC can help you learn more about what invention promotion firms do and how to avoid scams. And if you’ve experienced this or other scams, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Is there no way to stop the corruption of our government offices? It should be at least the one place we can trust to be safe. It's so very sad that the corrupt minds are outsmarting the moral and ethical ones. At least the complaints about our government being corrupt are being put to shame by the existence of the more deviate scammers. Looks like we should've appreciated the ways things used to be. At least the elderly would still be protected from intentional fraud and theft. I believe it takes an amoral being to do what they are doing. I apologize in advance for anything offensive contained herein on my part. I just need to vent occasionally as I have no idea how to personally stop any of what is happening in this world. Thanks for listening.

You are spot on, Donna. I fear for our country, thanks in part to technology and all of the "bad" folks out there who misuse it for nefarious purposes.

Call 877-382-4357 and file a complaint.
Once a complaint is received online it will be available to law enforcement.
Then you might be able to sue the government for failure to keep us safe.

You also can use the FTC's online complaint system at ftc.gov/complaint.

What about the Government scamming get us from Birth and using our parents to sign over our birth certificate to them and using us as corporations to make money off our name, no one is turning them in for scamming, our parents traded our birth certificate for a social security number, and that made us become contracts to the Government. So investigate them.

We do have many scammers even out in California too and must be alert and vigilant in this daily.

I was insurance business for 30 years in California and I saw company after company was offering disability income insurance do to scamming by crooks in the doctors. BTW most of the people doing is not native Californians or ???

Also, the TM & patent offices include everything you need to know on the subject and it's FREE to everyone! READ and KNOW everything given there BEFORE investing in ANY such helper services! If you really feel you MUST use an intermediary do a critical reputation test on them BEFORE contacting ANYONE! cHECK FOR spamming, scam complaints, and take any negative reputations seriously, regardless of what they say online or in responses to your inquiry. The following is one search that often works well, in conjunction with other queries: Use the following as a Search Term: spam: company.com and any other searches you can think of.

When local or federal authorities become aware of these "schemes", they can perform a STING operation and eliminate them. That's where "we" come in. WE need to bring these things to their attention. But..... without the help of the JUDICIAL BRANCH, keeping them incarcerated, they are "out" and doing it (or some other scam) again. Letting these "non-violent" criminals out too soon is the majority of the problem. Also, take away the "priveledges" of prisoners like cellphones, TV's, and such. Make it so they NEVER want to come back for 3 hots and a cot.

Absolutely agree! Prison is to be punishment for wrongdoing -- not a luxury spa!

We have a file on receiving these scam notices. They have the USPTO stamp appearing from CA. All of them reference the Czech Republic for payment.

Thank you for your ethnical and humanistic honestly support and views.

Thank you for alerting us about this issue.

This is very helpful information.

What can the state of California and/or the federal government do about Peanut Labs Media (PLM), who offers surveys via Pogo's game site and also via MyPoints site. PLM offers surveys in which survey takers can earn one-week passes to Club Pogo and can also earn "gems" which is pretty much a Pogo "currency" that can be used to "buy" assorted things in Pogo. It appears that most of the surveys offered have been predestined for disqualifications. I even once completed one survey that took 55 minutes of time and had earned a one-week pass when, instead of being awarded the one-week pass, I got redirected to a second and totally unrelated survey that ended up placing me into a disqualification from the second survey, which cancelled the one-week pass I had earned from the original survey. I complained to the BBB in California, where PLM is situated, but PLM offered a feeble response to BBB with some sort of a "default" response that was not candid! Someone needs to drag down sites like PLM, or at the least have PLM investigated!

To report this to the FTC, go to FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I was got for over $200 by a place that call themselves Federal grant department

Yeah they won't stop calling my number.every week I get a call but from those people you know what's a dead give away they can say ur correctly they sound forigner.i tell them when you can say my name right in English where I understand u maybe I'll bite but my mamma didn't raise no fool.

IT'S A SHAME WHEN THE NEWS CAN FILM FRAUD AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS BY PEOPLE IE SELLING WELFARE DEBIT CARDS BUT THE GOVERNMENT CAN'T ARREST AND PROSECUTE THE OFTEN REPLETE OFFENDERS.

Why can't you stop or go after these scammers usually in a foreign Country , Nigeria, Pakistan India with a vengeance and they should get life sentences ripping poor honest people off

Received call from legitimate business: Guest House of Slidell @ 9:10 am on my land line. Let it go to voicemail. It was a woman saying she could lower my interest rate on my credit card. Of course I deleted it. (985)643-5630 was number called from. Sounded like same person calling about free trips from staying at their resort. Now using local numbers

I got 2 checks in mail for over 2 grand each telling me to deposit and thentext a number! The checks are from Co but the paper says they are inCA!!!

I find it really somewhat disturbing that the FTC can not provide a more stream-lined unencumbered process for reporting "new internet scam designs" found through "social and/or real estate sites".

Perhaps you guys can attempt to put aside the red tape and just allow people to forward you the scammers email and or link to one EMAIL.

Instead you provide everlasting "stereo-typical jargon boxes and irrelevant links." It doesn't help eliminate the real threat it just makes people neglect reporting real crimes.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

844-561-9982 supposedly from Microsoft. Do not call. 315-284-8451 Adams Center NY. Connected to Microsoft scam. Hang up.

I don't understand why more scanners are not caught and the appropriate action taken when caught. I speak mainly of Credit Card fraud. The fraudulent act requires an address of where the products are sent after ordering them on stolen information. Isn't there some manner of detection this thief (company) of thieves?

I don't know if I fell for the "can you hear me" scam but I did answer yes before I could even think about it. They went on to talk about cruises and travel. I don't know what I can do about this if they come back someday with my approval for something. Just wanted to report it. the phone number was 1-978-972-2740. They didn't get any info from me. I told them I wasn't interested.

I still get this scam mails after i reported it to the FTC. Why this kind of pestering won't stop?

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy