Pass it on: Imposter Scams

Someone calls to ask for money. Are they who they say they are?
Imposter scams come in many forms. Scammers pretend to be computer technicians, officials from the IRS, grandkids and online love interests. But their goal is the same — to earn your trust and convince you to send money.
Pass on some of this information that could help someone you know.
Imposter Scams
Tech Support Scams
Grandkid Scams
IRS Imposter Scams
Online Dating Scams

Imposter Scams

You get a call or an email. It might say you’ve won a prize. It might seem to come from a government official. Maybe it seems to be from someone you know — your grandchild, a relative or a friend. Or maybe it’s from someone you feel like you know, but you haven’t met in person — say, a person you met online who you’ve been writing to.

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Tech Support Scams

You get a call from someone who says he’s a computer technician. He might say he’s from a well-known company like Microsoft, or maybe your internet service provider. He tells you there are viruses or other malware on your computer. He says you’ll have to give him remote access to your computer or buy new software to fix it.

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Grandkid Scams

You get a call: “Grandma, I need money for bail.” Or money for a medical bill. Or some other kind of trouble. The caller says it’s urgent — and tells you to keep it a secret.

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IRS Imposter Scams

You get a call from someone who says she’s from the IRS. She says that you owe back taxes. She threatens to sue you, arrest or deport you, or revoke your license if you don’t pay right away. She tells you to put money on a prepaid debit card and give her the card numbers.

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The caller may know some of your Social Security number. And your caller ID might show a Washington, DC area code. But is it really the IRS calling?
No. The real IRS won’t ask you to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. They also won’t ask for a credit card over the phone. And when the IRS first contacts you about unpaid taxes, they do it by mail, not by phone. And caller IDs can be faked.
Here’s what you can do:

  1. Stop. Don’t wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card. Once you send it, the money is gone. If you have tax questions, go to irs.gov or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
  2. Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten one of these calls, but the chances are you know someone who has.

Please Report Scams
If you spot a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Report a scam online or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261. Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify the imposters and stop them before they can get someone’s hard-earned money. It really makes a difference.

 

Online Dating Scams

You meet someone special on a dating website. Soon he wants to move off the dating site to email or phone calls. He tells you he loves you, but he lives far away — maybe for business, or because he’s in the military.

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