Avoiding imposter scams [video]

We hear first-hand stories from people around the country about how scammers are targeting people in every community. And while the techniques the scammers use may vary, there’s one thing these scams have in common: sometimes, the first step in avoiding a scam is talking about it with someone you trust.

That’s exactly what Maria Juarez did. Maria, who lives with her husband and two kids in a small Texas town, got a phone call one day. The caller, who claimed to be an attorney, told Maria there was a court order against her and that she had to pay hundreds of dollars to settle an old debt. If she didn’t pay, there would be dire consequences.  The caller threatened to have her arrested and to involve immigration authorities.

Maria was so terrified she was tempted to send the money immediately so the problem would go away. But something didn’t feel right to her, so she talked to her husband and son. Her son found online complaints about the company and was convinced it was a scam. That’s when they decided to report the company to the FTC.

Thanks to Maria’s report, and hundreds of others like it, the FTC took action. The court stopped the fraud and the company agreed to shut down its operation. Maria is grateful that she confided in her son. And we’re grateful to her and so many others who report fraud to the FTC.

Now, you can hear Maria’s story in her own words. Moments ago, Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, gave a sneak preview at the Legislative Summit hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Publishers and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Watch the video to learn more about avoiding imposter scams and to hear Maria’s story, in her own words (the video is in Spanish with English subtitles.) If you have a similar story about an imposter scam, tell us about it. Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.



Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Thanks so much for continuing to try to help we senior citizens who are exposed to these scams almost daily...keep it up.

This information is Interesting courage

Gen Henry Walker from the US Army. They try to take money. In the begin With was a beautiful story of love. My son say me to be careful. And i discussão whit him. I vê all the emails, names, i send money.

I read nothing in this story about the scammer being arrested, jailed and forced to refund money stolen from victims

How do we stop them i getting one where is states I owe for student loan payments and i am being served by answering the phone and I am to send the payments today I know that's a scam I never took out student loan and the other is IRS daying I owe back taxes again it says you are served by answering my phone or one a agent will knock on my door and arrest me !! I like are you serious I have a call block on my phone for they must have thousands of different phone # 's I research every # that calls me and most are robo calling and when you have heart conditions and your phone rings all day long with unknown name or no message I am now not answering these calls I don't know and if they leave a message with a name ( probably fake ) I am now reporting every call I get and I am on the do not call register so beware all they are scammers

and of course being an election year I am getting for donations for people I have never heard of I guess thet think because we are seniors we are senile are stupid The three big "S " well here is another S yiu can add to seniors senile stupid is Scammers we are aware and stop trying to take ones $$ get a job and one day you may endes up being scammed yourself !!! Please all I know not everyone has access or even know how to work a computer but for thosr who know your mom dad grandparents don't do internet keep them informed you can help your family protect them from being ripped off if they get a call from a number they don't know don't answer the call just about everyone has caller ID and if they don't get it for them it's worth the tiny amout monthly if any cost to protect your family the elders and I am no expert but after so many calls you start looking up the # & a computer is more of great tool then reading emails or fb the search engines are powerful for help and keep you informed Thank goodness the lady sons was there to stop her from falling victim to yet another scammer

If this was truly a fraud (and I would think it is), how is it that the penalty was the company "agreeing to shut down its operations." It would seem if fraud was the outcome, someone should be going to jail or paying a huge fine. If shutting down is the only penalty, it is no wonder that such "frauds" keep happening.

I'm glad that you caught them.


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