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Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Tips to help you avoid post-disaster scams

Whether you’re getting ready to deal with Laura or Marco, the storms about to hit the Gulf Coast, dealing with the ravages of wildfires out West, reeling from the derecho that struck the Midwest, or facing another natural disaster, handling the aftermath is never easy. But when scammers target people just trying to recover, it can be even worse. Here are some tips to help you avoid common post-disaster scams.

2020 Census: Visiting homes and sending emails

The Federal Trade Commission is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help you guard against potential census scams. Knowing how the 2020 Census process works, what information you will — and won’t — be asked for, and some red flags will help you spot and report scams.

“You’ve won! Now pay us” is always a scam.

During these difficult economic times, it is easy to imagine our financial problems disappearing by winning a big prize. Who wouldn’t like to win a million dollars, a new car, or a vacation home? But if you get a call from someone saying, “You’ve won,” don’t believe the hype.

1, 2, 3 videos to help you stop unwanted calls

It can be frustrating to deal with a bunch of unwanted calls. If you answer them, you might hear a recorded message of someone trying to sell you something. Or it could be a real person hoping to scare you into paying a debt you don't owe.These kinds of unwanted calls are often scams. Taking steps to stop them can help save you time and unnecessary stress — and maybe some money, too.

Getting unordered seeds and stuff in the mail?

Those mysterious seeds from China have been in the headlines, but we’re also hearing about other stuff that people are getting that looks connected to the seed mystery. There could be a few things going on, so let’s start unraveling the Great Unwanted Goods Mystery of 2020.

Video shows how scammers tell you to pay

Scammers make up all kinds of stories to get your money, from telling you that you’ve won a prize, you owe a debt, or your family member is in an emergency. But some things stay the same: scammers want your money, they want it fast, and don’t want you to be able to get it back. They’ll ask you to pay in ways that make it hard to track them down — and once you know what these are, you’ll have one more clue to tell if you’re dealing with a scammer.

Explore data to find scams near you

Scams happen everywhere: in every region, state, and community across the country, including your own. You might be wondering, “What kinds of scams are happening in my area?”

Avoiding a cryptocurrency scam

Yesterday some high-profile people had their Twitter accounts hacked by scammers who sent out fake tweets asking followers to send money using Bitcoin – a type of cryptocurrency or digital money.

Scammers impersonate the FTC, too

Scammers never seem to run out of new ways to try to take your money or steal your identity, especially in times of crisis like the one we’re living through now.

One of the latest schemes involves an email that claims—falsely—that it came from me. It might say you’re entitled to some money from a phony “Global Empowerment Fund” and tell you to give your bank account number or credit card information.

Protecting your small business, one video at a time

Small businesses like yours are important. They create jobs, support a competitive marketplace, and lift up local communities. As a small business owner, you’ve worked hard to start your business and make it into something you can be proud of. That’s why it’s important to know how to protect your employees and customers from a range of cyber and financial threats.

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