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Avoiding and Reporting Scams

10 Things You Can Do To Avoid Fraud

10 timely tips to help you avoid scams.

How Scammers
Tell You to Pay

Scammers want to make it hard for you to get your money back.

If You Think You See a Scam, Report It

Your complaint could help the FTC stop the scammers.

 

Common Scams

Social Security Scams

Scammers pretend to be from Social Security Administration and try to get your social security number or money.

IRS Scams

Scammers call, pretending to be from the IRS, and say they’re filing a lawsuit against you for back taxes.

Phishing Scams

Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information.

Fake Check Scams

Scammers ask you to deposit a check for more than you are owed and send some of the money to another person.

 

Most Recent Scam Alerts

October 19, 2020
Blog Post
Two disturbing phone scams have popped up on the FTC’s radar. Both scams have one thing in common: they want to trick (and scare) you out of money. If you live on Staten Island, pay close attention, since these two scams seem to be targeting people in your area. But we know that scammers don’t often stick with one area, so they could expand their target area any time now.
October 15, 2020
Article
Find out what to do if you paid someone you think is a scammer, gave them some personal information, or if they have access to your phone or computer.
October 7, 2020
Blog Post
If you don’t usually file a tax return, or didn’t file a return for 2018 or 2019, you might not know you could qualify for an economic impact payment. You might be one of the nine million people getting a letter from the IRS letting you know how to register on their website to claim your payment. The new deadline for filing is November 21, 2020..
September 28, 2020
Article
Have you ever gotten a call about a debt you don’t recognize? Or have you had a collector harass, threaten, or lie to you? Here's what to do.
September 24, 2020
Blog Post
Every year, Hispanic Heritage Month gives us a chance to reflect on the great contributions Latinos have made to society. To keep those contributions coming, it’s important to continue to do everything possible to protect Latinos from fraud. So let us take this opportunity to tell you about the resources we have for you — and tell you how to get them for free.
September 21, 2020
Blog Post
Phishing scams can be hard to spot. For example, we’ve been hearing about one where people get a text message saying that there’s a package waiting for them, and asking them to click a link to learn more. Sounds innocent enough, right? Unfortunately not.
September 21, 2020
Blog Post
More than 85 large wildfires are ripping across the West Coast, from California to Oregon and Washington. In the Southeast, people are just beginning to recover from Hurricane Sally, while more storms are brewing in the Atlantic. And the Midwest continues to recover from the recent derecho. Severe weather and natural disasters can occur anywhere — sometimes with little warning. The FTC’s site, Dealing with Weather Emergencies, has practical tips to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from a weather emergency. It’s mobile-friendly, so easy to get to when and where you need it.
September 18, 2020
Blog Post
If someone you don’t know sends you a check and asks for money back, that’s a scam. But what if you’re a small business owner and someone “overpays” you and asks you to refund the balance? That’s still a scam — a fake check scam, to be exact.
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.

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