Talking about and reporting scams [fotonovela]

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Our new fotonovela, Talking about Scams, tells the story of Eva and her husband, Pablo, who learn how talking about a scam can help someone avoid falling for a scam.

As the story illustrates, if you think you spotted a scam, it’s a good idea to tell somebody. Even if you’re not sure it is a scam, talking to someone—a friend, a neighbor, a loved one—could help them avoid it. Sometimes, hearing yourself describe the scam to someone else could help you avoid falling for it, too.

Then, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Your story could help the FTC stop the scammers.

Order free copies of the fotonovela in Spanish and share it in your community. Encourage the people you know to talk about scams—and report them to the FTC. You can download the fotonovela in English and see our other fotonovelas at consumer.ftc.gov/fotonovela.

Subscribe to get free scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission.

Comments

Roofing and Insurance scams in Plano Texas.

You can report problems to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also report problems to your state Attorney General.

 

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

I tried to send an e-mail I rec'd. about a cancellation of an order to amazon.com that I did not send for that required a cancellation. I sent an e-mail to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint just as you stated above and it was not allowed to be sent by my e-mail server due to it not being a correct e-mail address. WHY? What e-mail address should I use?

Hi David, I'm sorry you had a problem filing a complaint with us. Please try again at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

I got several of those and co tacked Amazon. They said it is a scam and if I got another send it them at their stop spoofing address.

I just spoke to Amazon and they gave me the same email to forward all the emails I've been receiving about order confirmations as well as confirmation of order being successfully canceled. I've received at least one email a day for the past week. I also got an email from Claire confirming order with Alibaba. Amazon said they have no affiliation and that Alibaba is different. When I spoke to Amazon I verified the information we used to sign up with them. The email I am getting scams on is a completely different email address. The one we used on Amazon account is not getting these scam emails. What is so disturbing is the Amazon Account is not even in my name nor does it have any of my personal info. Not only have these emails showed up from Amazon and Alibaba, but I am also getting phone calls on my cell about lowering credit card interest rate. I put an app on my cell phone that blocks a lot of these calls, but every once in awhile the scammers get smarter and some how use local numbers to get around the filters to block them. The call is automated in beginning saying to press certain button to get through to see how I qualified to get interest rate lowered on Credit Card. I want so bad to press a button, because I'm thinking what credit card? I just want to find out who they are and to the point want to mess with them its getting so annoying. These scams all started around the same time, and I would really like to know how they got my info and why it only started after we started account with Amazon. It seems strange to me, but Amazon swears they don't share any information with other parties. I don't want to accuse Amazon unfairly, but I do think the FTC or some agency should look into Amazons systems and the security of it. They can tell me what I want to hear but that doesn't mean they are telling me the whole truth or that there could be a possible leak or loop hole in their system.

or just put it here too in a comment although its less likely anyone would come here first to check if suspicious of scams

Many thanks to the FTC to help people prevent to fall into a scam. But, wouldn't it helpful to bring those scammers behind bars? For what do we have a police, just to check on speeding and control a stop at stop signs? That's it?????

I 100% agree with you, Manfred. I am willing to bet that the main reason why most scammers move on to create new scams is because the punishment that they receive is not nearly harsh enough. They can file for bankruptcy if they happen to get sued and then dismantle their current malicious company and create a new malicious company in the future, even with the same employees. Also, some banks like Chase do not work hard enough to do valid chargebacks if the amount of money is high, but these crooks take large sums of money from the consumer as a goal so that in itself is a delimna. In return, the consumer gets extremely poor quality or dishonest services that these banks don't care to look into.

Thank you for that information! We were almost scammed on a house rental recently and called the Police, but they told us to call the PD where were living!? So we didn't but wondered if there was anything that would happen. So we just all need to become informed and suspicious if something doesn't seem right, which it didn't! But I've been a paralegal, so I knew the rental agreement wasn't real!

The FTC acts as police in these cases since it is a federal crime.

Thank you so much for all of the new scams that are popping up. I am 70 years old and I really need the latest alerts on the scams. Thank you for a job well done.

Thank you for the continued good work to stop scammers and crime. Yes, I was scammed about two years ago. Many of my family recognized it and made me aware of it. thank you to my "go to " fix it computer man he removed it from my computer and made it so they could not contact me again. I have had less robo calls since I started reporting them; time, date and phone number to FTC. Thank you so much.

These scammers are getting smarter. I get calls all the time and constantly report. What is scary is that now they are calling my home phone and know my address (we are unlisted). However, you can tell pretty easily it is scam. The Government doesn't have lotteries and "award" grants, won't call and ask you to pay your taxes with Itune Cards (which, I can only presume, they sell the card numbers on line at a discount?), nor will they ever ask you to pay money to get money. Please report all scam numbers and get as much info as you can. At some point, these scammers will probably get caught.

Scammers do get put behind bars if they get caught. The hard part is catching them.
Scammers often try to con you out of your money with too good to be true offers or by trying to make you panic and act on impulse. For example, the phony credit card services people use promises of super low APRs to get credit card and personal information out of you. Fake IRS callers try to make you panic with threats of jail then demand you give them money now. Fake tech support (often claiming to be with Microsoft or Windows) claim your computer is infected and want you to pay them to clean it up. There are also the ones who take control of a Facebook account and spam all the friends with "emergency" requests for money, claiming to be out of the country.
Best thing is to be skeptical and if they are claiming to be an agency or a friend, contact that agency or person on your own to verify.

I received a call from Bayport NY their telephone number is 631-832-1393 claiming he was calling from Microsoft Technical Support and insisting my computer that my computer had a number of virus'! I replied I'm sorry my computer was in repair and quite naturally if he was monitoring or tracking my computer his was invading my privacy. He tried to argue that Microsoft was not invading my property that he received the alert. Yada,yada,yada. I blew a whistle in his ear and hung up. I get these calls a least twice a month. No matter how many times you block their numbers, some how they still manage to contact you. FTC thanks for the report but what are you people doing about it?

In answer to your question: "what are you doing about it?"

When enough people complain to the FTC complaint site, the FTC is able to build strong enough cases against even the baddest of the bad, like Rachael of Card Services; one of the most infamous of the whack-a-mole offenders out there.

Please see the FTC's June 5, 2017 Press Release: ftc.gov/ news-events/ press-releases/ 2017/06/ ftc-florida-attorney-general-close-book-robocall-ring-pitched-us?utm_source=govdelivery

It starts with: At the request of the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Office of the Attorney General, a federal district court judge has entered eight orders against an intertwined web of Orlando-based individuals and companies that bombarded consumers with illegal robocalls from “Card Member Services,” pitching worthless credit card interest rate reduction programs.

Articles like this are encouragement to me to keep engaging telemarketers for the sole purpose of stringing them along to gather all possible information to pass to the FTC complaint site; yum yum.

What can I do if someone is using the name of my company and making unwanted calls in other states? I search the phone number in google search and that number has a lot of complains.

You could try to identify who is using your company name, or contact your service provider to identify who is making the calls, or contact the agency that is collecting complaints and explain that your number is being misused.

Thank You for the information, very interesting. Lot OSO scammers in Internet offering And asking for personal data. Walmart and Kroger offering an credit card for $1,0000 and $500 as a "prize" that you won, they ask to fill a survey, the survey have a lot of offerings to purchase, at the end of survey if you don't selected nothing to buy they cancel your prize.

the government grant giveaway is getting old and they are really rude one man told me when I asked if he was from gov grant program he then told me he was a rocket for my ask and hung up this last time I called back after girl hung up and lady treated like she just called me oh and not to be racist they are all indian that barely speak English heres the phone please put a stop to these persons ny ny 929-278-5970

The United States Grant Department scammers have been blowing up my cell phone. Same old 9k free money by a foreigner. SCAM!!

Since 2015 in my experience with NSA, CFTC,Whistleblower, IMF,NFA,and many more that I have submitted my dispute on Lbinary Options and Four Market trading post when they have admitted that the broker did and deceived me that he was fired and in compensating was giving me $5000 bonus which was telling me they wasn't going to give my money back and I would have to do over $75,000 either wins and loses totalling that amount which is slim to none to work so never ever take bonuses because that is were they have you hook line and sinker once you have accepted their bonus. Bonus is a come on or a sucker's bet. But to make a long story short the deputies and agents they all have in come in is that they find what file is this report should go in to the file or what they will say their data base with no help and leads to get an answer or who to get answer from but their excuses that is the most common one is "IT IS OUT OF THEIR JURISDICTIONS". I can go on and on with details in what is really is going on in all the government department is so upsetting that I feel like puking.

oh, i" love" it when they call my landline,1.i never respond to anyone who i ddont know the number,2.the numbers and speeches are taped automatically.unfortunately,the do not call of the feds is useless.

I am a school employee in N.J. and was trying to purchase Presidential Fitness Awards (as we have done in the past) but when I called the # we use to order I was told we called at the right time to receive a 100.00 gift card. After several minutes and giving my debit card info I realized it was a scam. The phone # is 1-800-258-8146. They said if I didn't complete the info my card # would be at risk. They have since blocked our school phone # but you can reach them using a cell #.

Thanks soooo much! Much needed!

On Monday, May 22nd at 12:00am, 70+ seniors from Cienega High School in Vail, Arizona waited for a charter bus that never came. Senior Grad Trips was paid over $40,000 ($500 each student) to provide an exciting class trip to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the beach. School officials tried in vain to reach the company, but couldn't get a response, so students were told to go home...the trip was off. Parents tried to reach the owner via text and phone, but calls weren't returned. The owner of the company didn't contact parents until 3 days later via email stating he would be calling us to discuss the situation. It has been over 2 weeks and most parents haven't been called. The few parents who were called were told there would be a full refund. We have formed a FB page to stay in contact and have discovered that we haven't been contacted or refunded. Also, we have discovered that there are 2 other schools in different states that have had the same thing happen to them. We have contacted FTC, FBI, BBB, and Texas State Attorney General's office. Our stories have also made it on local news stations in different cities. Can anyone think of anything else that we can do or help us in any way? Thank you!

I've been dealing with my Internet being used by other people I called my Internet provider 2 days ago 31 devices attached to my wifi.Lots of different things have come with that my identity, theft, it's all so complicated I need someone to talk to who has more experience. I think someone has been impersonating me. It could be my ex-husband that in itself is crazy he forged my house documents to sell the house he went as far as to make it seem as though I was crazy by paying for a cell phone in my name renting an apt in my name and a cable bill. Meanwhile I was working in Phoenix at Walmart for 14 years. I assure you I'm stable been depressed before but that all. Ironically I was depressed because ex couldn't keep a job. I no if he paid for all these extras he's up to no good. He told me my brother died and I saw him on that Google 360. They put fake stuff on Google cause there's always a jab of sorts, my phone stops me from calling people my documents dissappear just making everything harder. Long story to go with documents. I need someone to contacts me 480xxxxxxx and not talk on phone its been going on for 1and1/2 years. I envestigate and always things go in a circle I just can't put it all together. I can't imagine what he's done to waste so much money watching and Sabatogeing ginger my life. My boyfriend won't let me call cops cause he says it sounds crazy. Please help. I've also lost my ID and having a hard time getting that resolved. It's so bad that I could be killed and someone could take my identity over. I have no family or friends to go to. I'm ashamed to say my boyfriend did a good job at alienating me from friends. I'm scared and stressed.

You could contact a victim advocate, or contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state and ask how to get a new ID.

I would like to request all three of my yearly credit reports by mail.

The Free Credit Reports article explains that to order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228. Or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228 or mailing to Annual Credit Report Request Service.

I have been scammed and may steal my identity

If you aren't sure what happened, read about warning signs of identity theft. 

If you find out that someone took your identity, you can protect yourself. Go to identitytheft.gov.  You can report identity theft and get a plan to help you recover from problems. You can get letters and forms to send to businesses to show what happened.

I have been scammed out of $4,000.00+ out of all of my accounts. I worked with this tech support guy before and trusted him. He said there were some problems with my computer. He supposedly fixed. However, I was told topurchase I-tune cards of which I did. The problem kept getting larger and larger until both of my financial accounts were diplenised. I was told the only way I could get my money back I would have to get these I-tune cards of which I did. I can only contact him through note pad

This is useful information for a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. You can report the name of the fake tech support company, and the information will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I thank the FTC for placing this fotonovela to help us understand what is a scam, but I still feel that the FTC needs to be more proactive in stopping them altogether. Just reporting them alone doesn't seem to do much, because many of these scammers know that as long as they can't be traced or caught, they can do whatever they want to anyone anytime them want to. Even with the DNC list and call blockers, they can still find a way around them due to their hacking abilities. Until every last one of them is behind bars, such calls will never stop.

How can we delete our comments on here or revise them

Please send a copy of your comment to BlogInfo@ftc.gov. Someone from the blog team will read your message.

I was in tech support for over 20 years and I just wanted to thank the FTC for their due diligence. At times we've had to refer clients to them for resolution and it may not be immediate however over time the scammers attempts can be amusing. I like to email them back or I like to keep them on the phones till they hang up. I've have even offered my services as freelance writer; and send them their email back but I correct and highlight all of their errors. Cheer up folks. It will always be what you make it.

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