SCAM WARNING: The Federal Trade Commission Will NEVER Ask You to Send Money
The names of other people and organizations that you trust are also fair game in these cons
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it has received reports that imposters are calling, emailing, texting, and even faxing unsuspecting consumers and pretending to be a representative of the FTC—all in an effort to gain your trust and to steal your hard-earned money!
Wide Range of Ploys to Trick You
These unscrupulous con artists will use a wide range of ploys in their attempt to trick you, including the promise of prize winnings, grants, or refunds, or saying that you're in trouble and need to pay delinquent accounts or fees. Their goal is to either excite or scare you into sending them money.
In reality, the FTC will NEVER call, email, text, or fax consumers to ask for any type of payment. If someone claiming to be with the FTC contacts you and asks you to send money, IT'S A SCAM.
Legitimate Consumer Refunds
The FTC does distribute money to people in the form of consumer refunds after suing companies and operations that violate the law and take advantage of people. That being said, the agency will not ask you to send money or provide bank account information before sending any refund that you are owed.
If you are entitled to a refund from an FTC lawsuit, you will usually receive a check or claim form with details about the case. All cases resulting in refunds will also be listed on the FTC's website along with a consumer contact number for more information.
Always Remain Vigilant, Trust Your Gut
Keep in mind, imposters will not stop at just using the FTC's name in their attempts to scam U.S. consumers. The names of other people and organizations that you trust are also fair game in these cons—so it is important to always remain vigilant to anything that seems questionable or too good to be true.
Always take note of not just the story the person is telling you, but also how they ask you to pay money. If they ask you to pay by wiring them money, getting iTunes cards, or putting money on a MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, or Reloadit card, it's more than likely a scam. Look for red flags and always trust your gut feeling!
Report All Suspected Imposters
If you believe that you've been contacted by a scammer impersonating the FTC or any other agency, company, organization, or individual—report it immediately. Also, spread the word to your friends and family!