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Scam Alerts

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Scams

Learn about recent scams and how to recognize the warning signs. Read the FTC’s most recent alerts or browse scams by topic.

Most Recent Scam Alerts

September 17, 2020
Blog Post
Wildfires raging out West. The hurricane season. Civil unrest. And all of this happening during a global pandemic that has claimed its own devastating share of deaths and cost people their livelihoods. In response to these events, the season of giving is starting even before the usual holidays, since we all just want to help where and as we can. But shameless scammers want to help themselves to your money. And they’re competing with legitimate charities, taking advantage of your generosity. So, as you open your heart and wallet to help people and causes, be sure to consider these tips for safe giving:
September 11, 2020
Blog Post
Maybe someone said you’ve won the lottery, a prize or sweepstakes. Or they claim to be from the government and tell you there’s a problem with your Social Security number. And, to collect your winnings or solve your problem, you have to pay with gift cards. But here’s the thing: anyone who insists that you pay by gift card is always a scammer.
August 28, 2020
Blog Post
Have you seen a message on WhatsApp or Facebook offering you free help during the pandemic? People have reported seeing messages that seem to be from Pepsi, Walmart, Whole Foods, Target, and other big-name brands. These messages all offer money to people who need it — through grants, coupons for food support, or other giveaways. But they’re all fake, and not from those companies at all.
August 26, 2020
Blog Post
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.
August 14, 2020
Blog Post
As part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from sellers of scam COVID-19 treatments, the FTC has sent 20 more warning letters to companies that claim their products can prevent, treat or cure the COVID-19. Claims for zappers, virus-busting cards, sage, oregano, and bay leaves are among the representations called into question in the latest round of warning letters.
August 12, 2020
Blog Post
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.
August 11, 2020
Blog Post
As we publish this post, a second stimulus package has not yet been finalized by Congress. While there’s a lot we don’t know, we DO know a few things about what scammers do when this kind of uncertainty is in the headlines.
August 5, 2020
Blog Post
If you want to contact a company’s customer service department, you can do a quick search online and often find what looks like its phone number or email. But is the information at the top of your search results actually correct?
August 3, 2020
Blog Post
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.
July 22, 2020
Blog Post
Scammers love to use the same old tricks in new ways. One of their favorites is to pose as a business or government official to pressure you into sending them money or personal information. Now, some scammers are pretending to be popular online shopping websites, phishing for your personal information.
July 20, 2020
Blog Post
Just about a year ago, we told you about a case the FTC brought against a student loan debt relief firm. The FTC alleged that the operators of Mission Hills Federal, Federal Direct Group, National Secure Processing, and The Student Loan Group bilked borrowers out of millions of dollars. Today, we have some great news to share: a federal court in California has ruled in our favor.
July 17, 2020
Blog Post
One thing we know about scammers is that they follow the headlines. So it’s not surprising that we’ve seen so many Coronavirus-related scams recently. From scammers selling fake COVID-19 cures and treatments to people posing as government officials offering Coronavirus stimulus checks — nothing seems to be off-limits.
July 16, 2020
Blog Post
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.
July 16, 2020
Blog Post
When you’re having trouble paying your credit card bills, getting a lower interest rate to keep your balance in check could be a game changer. Unfortunately, companies that promise to get you those lower rates often end up leaving you deeper in debt.
July 14, 2020
Blog Post
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.
July 6, 2020
Article
A contact tracer from your state health department might call if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. But scammers are pretending to be contact tracers, too. Here’s how you can spot the scam.
July 2, 2020
Blog Post
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, you may be looking for ways to make money without ever stepping foot outside your door. Maybe you saw an ad online for a business coaching program you can do from your living room. Or maybe you got a call about getting paid to stuff envelopes from your dining room table. While these might look like easy ways to earn quick money and stay safe at home – most of these jobs are scams.
June 30, 2020
Blog Post
Because of COVID-19, unemployment rates are high and many people’s cash flows are low. Scammers view these as ripe conditions to strike. They’ll stop at nothing — not even a pandemic — to trick you into sharing your personal or financial information. That includes pretending to be a government official from the Federal Trade Commission to gain your trust.

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