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Avoiding and Reporting Scams

How To Avoid a Scam

Recognizing these common signs of a scam could help you avoid falling for one.

What To Do if You Were Scammed

Find out steps you can take if you were scammed.

Report Fraud, Scams, and Bad Business Practices

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.

Phone Scams

These tips can help you hang up on a phone scammer and hold onto your money.

Phishing Scams

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

Unemployment Benefits Scams

Imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits.

 

Most Recent Scam Alerts

January 10, 2022
Blog Post
There's a new spin on scammers asking people to pay with cryptocurrency. It involves an impersonator, a QR code, and a trip to a store (directed by a scammer on the phone) to send your money to them through a cryptocurrency ATM.
January 6, 2022
Article
People spend billions of dollars a year on products and treatments in the hope of improving their health and fitness. But a lot of that money goes to companies that make fake claims about those products and treatments, cheating people out of their money, their time — even their health. If you’re thinking about buying a health product or service, here are some things to keep in mind to get the best outcomes for you and your family.
January 4, 2022
Blog Post
The news is filled with images of long lines at in-person COVID testing sites and reports of limited supplies of at-home test kits. It’s not a surprise that, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, fake and unauthorized at-home testing kits are popping up online as opportunistic scammers take advantage of the spike in demand.
December 17, 2021
Article
Here’s what to know to help you avoid a dishonest invention promoters.
December 15, 2021
Blog Post
If you have a federal student loan, you probably already know that the Coronavirus emergency relief program that has paused your payments is ending. Repayments will begin again after May 1, 2022. Scammers know it, too, and are looking for ways to take advantage: they’re calling, texting, and e-mailing to try to use any confusion around restarting your student loan payments to steal your money and personal information.
December 13, 2021
Blog Post
If you or someone you know has been affected by the devastating series of tornadoes that roared across Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri, coping with the aftermath is never easy. But when scammers target people just trying to recover, it can be even worse. Here are ways to help you and your neighbors avoid common post-disaster scams.
December 8, 2021
Blog Post
One of our favorite things to do at the FTC — whenever possible — is to return money to people who lost it to scammers. That’s what we’re doing today. If you lost money to a business coaching scheme that did business as Coaching Department or Apply Knowledge, among other names, you should be getting a check in the mail soon.
November 29, 2021
Blog Post
As we wrap up National Caregiver Month, the FTC wants to recognize all the incredible work that caregivers like you do every day. The work is seen and unseen and helps people in both physical and emotional ways. We know caregiving can be tough on your finances, too. So if you’re looking for a way to make extra money, searching online can be a good start. But scammers are there, too, and post fake job ads designed to trick you into sharing personal information or sending money in exchange for the promise of a job…that doesn’t exist.
November 22, 2021
Blog Post
As a caregiver for a family member with special health needs, you know that shopping, making meals, or just regularly spending time with someone who can’t get out much can profoundly improve their quality of life. But being a caregiver is stressful, and scammers know that, too. In fact, dishonest companies will say almost anything to get you to buy their product or service.
November 18, 2021
Blog Post
If it takes a village to raise a child, crowdfunding may be what it takes to make that invention a reality. But scammers could be behind those crowdfunding efforts and take your money without delivering what they promise.
November 15, 2021
Blog Post
Calls from scammers are annoying and can cause a lot of trouble when you realize, too late, that they’re scams. What’s even worse? When they target a client or loved one you’re caring for. So today, as part of National Family Caregivers Month, we’re talking about how to spot and block scam calls.
November 12, 2021
Blog Post
This has been National Adoption Week for pets, and by now, thousands of dogs and cats might have new homes in the hearts of many thousands of people. But as the holidays approach, scammers know that families are hearing about their kids’ NEED for a dog or cat. And scammers are ready to take advantage by offering up that perfect pet — for a fee. You’ll find ads offering litters of puppies, especially, on websites and listservs online. But once you pay, your supposed pet and the “breeder” will vanish, along with your cash. Here are ways to spot those puppy and pet scammers and stop them in their tracks.
November 5, 2021
Blog Post
Many people have gotten their advance Child Tax Credit payments this year, but scammers are taking advantage of this new program to try to trick you out of money or information. They’re pretending to be the IRS, contacting people by phone, text, email, and social media — and sending people to official-looking websites that look just like the IRS.
November 4, 2021
Blog Post
If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you might have heard about a global chip shortage. Why does that matter to your holiday shopping? Well, a lot of things you might buy for the holidays, like toys, have chips in them, so the shortage means prices are going up, and items that have chips can be harder to find.
October 27, 2021
Blog Post
There’s a fake IRS email that keeps popping into people’s inboxes. It says that you can get a third Economic Impact Payment (EIP) if you click a link that lets you “access the form for your additional information” and “get help” with the application. But the link is a trick. If you click it, a scammer might steal your money and your personal information to commit identity theft. It’s yet another version of the classic government impersonator scam.
October 27, 2021
Blog Post
It’s Cyber Security Awareness month, so the tricks scammers use to steal our personal information are on our minds. If there’s one constant among scammers, it’s that they’re always coming up with new schemes, like the Google Voice verification scam. Have you heard about it? Here’s how it works.
October 20, 2021
Blog Post
Has Amazon contacted you to confirm a recent purchase you didn’t make or to tell you that your account has been hacked? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, since July 2020, about one in three people who have reported a business impersonator scam say the scammer pretended to be Amazon.
October 8, 2021
Blog Post
Have you seen ads on social media that offer to “help” you sign up for a government program that will give you a “free” device and internet service in exchange for money or personal information? While there is a real government program to help people connect during the pandemic, there’s no payment required to enroll. That’s just a scam.

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