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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

September 20, 2021
Blog Post
Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the numerous contributions that Hispanic Americans and Latinos have made to our country. This year’s theme, Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope, encourages us to look forward to future contributions with optimism, hope, and a sense of community. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ll focus on ways to come together to help spot, stop, and report frauds that target Latino communities. Today kicks off our month-long series with advice that we hope you’ll share with others on how to recognize and avoid scams.
September 13, 2021
Blog Post
Looking for love on LGBTQ+ dating apps? Scammers are at the ready too. We’re hearing about scams targeting people on LGBTQ+ dating apps, like Grindr and Feeld. And they aren’t your typical I-love-you, please-send-money romance scams. They’re extortion scams.
September 8, 2021
Blog Post
Did you get an email from your boss asking you for a favor? Does your boss need you to send gift cards to pay for an upcoming office party? Before you go out and pay up, ask yourself: is that really your boss? It could be a scammer trying to get your money.  
September 3, 2021
Blog Post
Whether you’re starting to assess the damage from Hurricane Ida, the recent flooding in Tennessee, the wildfires in the West, or another natural disaster, 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 avoid common post-disaster scams.
August 19, 2021
Blog Post
Scammers are impersonating FTC Chair Lina M. Khan in a new phishing scheme. The email says the FTC wants to send you Coronavirus relief funds and tells you to send some personal information, like your name, address, and date of birth. The FTC is not distributing Coronavirus economic stimulus or relief money to people. The email is a scam. Don’t reply.
August 17, 2021
Blog Post
People are living longer than ever before. As we age, it’s common to develop new aches, ailments, and illnesses — and then we often go online to learn about products and treatments to help maintain and improve our health. But a word to the wise: there’s a lot of false and misleading information out there, including what some promoters are saying about stem cell therapy. The truth is, stem cell products have not been shown to be safe or effective for most ailments, and could actually be harmful.
August 5, 2021
Blog Post
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a temporary order to stop evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, this federal eviction moratorium has been extended several times, and on August 3, the CDC extended it again for counties where COVID cases are rapidly spreading. But renters in counties where the order does not apply now face the possibility of eviction if they still owe back rent. And on top of that, scammers can take advantage of the panic caused by this situation.
August 4, 2021
Blog Post
Have you gotten an alarming text message about your unemployment insurance benefits from what seems to be your state workforce agency? You’re not alone. Identity thieves are targeting millions of people nationwide with scam phishing texts aimed at stealing personal information, unemployment benefits, or both.
June 30, 2021
Blog Post
COVID opened the door for scammers to double down on their worst practices, while preying on consumers during an unprecedented global pandemic. That includes some bad actors who have been taking advantage of online shoppers in search of hard-to-find items like face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Today, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against one of those bad actors.
June 17, 2021
Blog Post
Family emergency scams try to scare people into sending money to help a loved one in trouble. The fraud can play out in many ways, but the hustle is the same: the caller lies, tries to scare you, and rushes you to pay so you don’t have time to think twice or check things out before you send money. And once you do that, you’ll never get it back.
June 15, 2021
Blog Post
The weather is getting warmer, and you might be itching to travel again. The mountains, the beach, and the trails are calling you — and everyone else. At least that’s what it feels like when you start looking into renting a car. With rental car availability at an all-time low, prices are sky high. So, if you suddenly find an available car at a cheap price, you might be dealing with scammers looking to cash in on the rental car shortage.
June 14, 2021
Blog Post
Summer is right around the corner. With things reopening, kids getting out of school, and days lasting longer, this summer promises, we hope, some much-needed relaxation, adventure, and a chance to reconnect with family and friends. Today, we’re kicking off our summer safety series to share some thoughts on ways to make your summer season as enjoyable and safe as possible.
June 11, 2021
Blog Post
Scammers often disguise themselves as people working for the government and might pretend to offer help. But, really, they’re after your money or personal information. For Pride Month, the FTC wants the LGBTQ+ community to know about government imposter scams and how to avoid them.
June 10, 2021
Blog Post
If you’re looking for a job, there are lots of things to think about, from wages and commute time to benefits and employee resources. And, if you identify as LGBTQ+, you might also look for whether a workplace is LGBTQ+ friendly. To make your job search safe and successful, learn how to spot and avoid job scams.
June 2, 2021
Blog Post
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible families will get monthly payments from the government from July 15 through December 2021. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will send these monthly payments directly to people through direct deposit, paper checks, or debit cards. Unlike economic impact payments, these payments are an advance on families’ child tax credit. People who are eligible will get up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes.
June 1, 2021
Blog Post
If you used MoneyGram to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017, you may be eligible to file a claim for a refund.
June 1, 2021
Article
Right now, there are no plans to create a national COVID-19 vaccine verification app, certificate or passport.
May 28, 2021
Blog Post
More than a year into the pandemic, and months after the first rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, people are eager to get back to their regular activities. But some activities might require you to show that you’ve been vaccinated or had a recent negative COVID-19 test. How you do that may depend on the activity and where you live. The patchwork approach gives scammers an opportunity to cash in on the confusion. Here are a few ways to help stay ahead of the scammers.

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