How do scammers in your community connect with you?

Do you trust me because I speak Spanish? That sounds like a strange question, but in some communities – and in some situations – it could be enough for someone to trust a stranger.

At the Fraud Affects Every Community workshop recently held at FTC headquarters, we heard from panelists living and working in diverse communities about ways scammers are using language, shared customs, relationships and community practices to steal people’s money.

Scammers might speak your language, share your culture or beliefs, and even attend your place of worship. They might understand the hard personal situations you’re facing – like job loss, immigration status, money woes, or family emergencies. They might come from the same country, neighborhood, or community as you. They might even be a community leader – or have convinced a community leader to help them get the word out about their product or service... which may turn out to be a scam.  

Consider these scenarios:

  • You get a call from someone who speaks the same language you do, selling you a work-at-home program. You feel comfortable with them, so you share personal information and stories. Before you know it, this feels like someone you can trust. But this could be a set-up. Scammers often use personal connections to make you feel comfortable – and get close enough to get your money.
  • You identify with an ad on TV or radio featuring someone who looks or sounds like you. Because you identify with the person in the ad, you might believe what they’re saying. But not every ad is true. It could have been made, and paid for, by a scammer. Ads aren’t reviewed by an outside organization to make sure they’re legitimate before they run. You have to do your own research.
  • Someone claiming to be a lawyer or government official tells you about a debt you need to pay, or asks you to buy something. In your community, highly-educated people, officials, and experts might command a lot of respect. But are they really the experts they claim to be? Check out their claims before you give them information or money. 

You can spot possible scammers in your community, no matter who they seem to be. Whenever someone urges you to pay for something – stop. Check them out. Ask lots of questions, and do your own research on the company, person or product. Take your time deciding before giving your hard-earned money, or personal and financial information, to anyone. 

Suspect a scam? Tell us about it! File a complaint with the FTC, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.


why are the obvious still advertised?
envelope stuffing

I was scammed over the Internet And would like to know if there is anything I can do and is there anything that could be done so other woman might not fall into the Same scam like I did, there are people on the Internet claiming yo be American Soilders, if only I had knowen more info about this scammers on the Internet before hand maybe I would have thought twice, some one needs stress this matter, and would there be any way to get some relieve out of this scam

I appreciate the attention on this matter as I have learned that these people doing these scams are probably out of Nigeria Ghana West Africa , these people steal real MILITERY mens photos and use them to ask for money and say that they are non commissioned officer, I feel for this, and I've paid dearly. I was devasted once I found out the truth. I have found the real MILITERY man and have spoken to his family and they have been also upset and disturbed that there family and his identiy where used to do these scams mainly to women. I lost a lot of money and even had a sale to sell items to help this scammer, it made me sick to find out the truth but the damage was done. I do in prayers ask that these people will be put to a stop. I have followed this scammer on the Internet and was able to save a lot of women until he cought on to what I was doing, pl get this word out thank you

Please get this out to the public especially the facebook user and also on the Y Messanger these are where these scams are taking place.

I shutoff charitable requests by telling the caller I do not make donations over the phone and that I will consider written correspondence. Of course they give you a line like we can't provide anything because we are a charity, this is the way we collect money, etc. TOUGH you want me to consider giving to your charity then follow my rules. No other comments will be accepted.

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