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Scammers pretend to be the FTC

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Did you recently get an official FTC letter from “me”? That’s in quotes because it wasn’t actually from me. And the letter wasn’t official, or even from the FTC at all. In fact, scammers have been faking official-looking letterhead to write scary messages to people, threatening them. But, again: it’s not real.

We know about this scam because a gentleman in Pennsylvania was smart enough to take it to his bank, and together, they reported it to the FTC. The letter said his online and financial activities put him under suspicion of money laundering and terrorism. And now, all his “activities will be under review.”

Our best guess is that this letter is just the first part of a scam. The second part will probably involve “urgent” phone calls telling people to send money right away. Now, though, you can spot the scam. Here’s what to know to protect yourself against government imposters like these.

  • The FTC will never send a letter like this, and we’ll never threaten you.
  • The FTC does write back to people who write to us, and we sometimes send letters about a refund from a case – but then, we’ll never ask you to pay anything or give personal info to collect your funds. (Find more about FTC refunds at ftc.gov/redress.)
  • No government agency will ever demand that you pay by gift card, wiring money, or bitcoin. Anyone who does that is a scammer. Full stop.
  • Find out more about imposter scams of all sorts at ftc.gov/imposters.

If you get a letter from the FTC, we want to know. Before you do anything else, please call the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357).

Meanwhile, sign up to get the FTC’s consumer alerts to stay up on the latest scams.

Comments

I do not understand the difficulty you apparently have shutting down these SCAMS. I have been convalescing from surgery for 5 weeks in our home. Our phone rings 15 times a day with one more absurd ROBO call. It seems to me that the FTC could follow up on these and make an example of a few hundred and scare the rest off. Secondly, my mail inbox (junk) fills up with ridiculous offers, SCAMS, to trick individuals. Again, why cannot the FTC make examples of these bums and put several hundred in jail?

You can reduce the amount of mail you get:

  • To stop getting pre-screened offers of credit and insurance for 5 years, call 1-888-567-8688 or go to www.optoutprescreen.com.
  • You can choose what kind of direct marketing mail you get. Register online with the Direct Marketing Association at www DMAchoice.org and manage the mail you get. It costs $2 for 10 years.

I hate to say this but . . . the internet needs to be more tightly controlled. The bad actors are starting to outweigh the good folks.

I got a call this morning saying that I need to press 1 to talk to a S.S. OR THEY WILL FILE A FRAUD CLAIM against me the phone number was 800-1409140

Had a call this morning from a company saying my Microsoft computer was going to expire today and to call this number 1-800-436-9311. The caller ID shows up as 1-800 Service.

Ref the msg "Scammers Pretend to be FTC" dated 12/03/19:
It was not clear in the blog whether the source address from the sender under DETAILS forged the FTC address/URL? In any case, if the email is suspicious I have found it is always a good precaution to check the address of the sender under DETAILS next to the sender info to verify if the email is actually from who the message says it is. Not always fool proof but not all scammers are of high intellect. Some have found ways to cloud the issue but this technique can increase your awareness & prevent you from opening a threatening message.

thank you for all your info, and i have been getting a lot of phone calls about warrants etc, three in one hour on all toll free call numbers!! beware!!

In clearing out old paperwork in my desk I found an unopened check. The check looks real and the company responsible for the refund is Rincon Debt Management. The claim number is on it. I do think it’s not a scam. The problem is that it’s dated back in 2017. I certainly could use it in this Holiday Season.

Some of those scams are so comical in the amateurish way they're put together that the trashcan is immediately the place for it all. The more so-called 'sophistication' scammers use the more savvy consumers become. Power is always with the people.

I file a report with the attorney general office there told me to file one with you Capitol One take advantage of people

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