FTC Impersonation Scams

FTC Impersonation Scams

Scammers Are Now Impersonating The FTC

How Scams Work – A SCARS Insight

FTC Impersonation Scams

Will the FTC call or write you? Will they demand money? No!

Scammers trying to rip you off will often impersonate organizations or government agencies you know. Some even pretend to be from the Federal Trade Commission. But how can you know if it’s the FTC or if it’s a scammer impersonating the FTC?

If someone who says they’re from the FTC demands money or threatens you, that’s not the FTC. Only scammers pretending to be the FTC will do that. The latest twist? Scammers are sending fake letters from Sam Levine, the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, threatening to “shut down” your accounts for “unsanctioned” activity and demanding that you call an “officer” immediately. Don’t do it.

Report them at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS

What is an FTC Impersonation Scam?

FTC impersonation scams are a type of fraud where scammers pretend to be from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They may call, email, or text you and claim that you have violated some FTC regulation or law or that they are investigating a scam or other case. They may then demand that you pay a fine or penalty or fee, or that you need to provide them with personal or financial information.

The FTC will never contact you in this way. If you receive a call, email, or text from someone claiming to be from the FTC, hang up the phone or ignore the text. Do not provide any personal or financial information, and do not pay any money.

Here’s when and how the FTC will communicate with you:

  • If you report something to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov, you’ll get advice about how to recover and protect yourself. You’ll also get that information by email, if you give us an email address.
  • If you’re getting a refund or payment from an FTC case, you’ll get it by check, prepaid debit card, or PayPal. The payment or claim form will tell you more about the case and why you’re getting money. Go to ftc.gov/refunds to see a list of FTC cases that resulted in refunds, the name of the company sending payments, and a phone number to call with questions.

Don’t respond to someone who says they’re from the FTC and demands money, threatens you, or ask for personal or financial information. Report them to the FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS

Tips to Avoid FTC Impersonation Scams

Here are some tips to help you avoid FTC impersonation scams:

  • Never give out personal or financial information over the phone, email, or text.
  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited calls, emails, or texts that demand money or personal information.
  • If you are unsure whether a call or email is legitimate, hang up the phone or delete the email.
  • You can always contact the FTC directly to verify the authenticity of a call or email.
  • The FTC’s website has a dedicated page for reporting scams: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS

What if you’re not sure it’s a scam? Report it anyway. Your report could help the FTC stop scammers

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