Skip to main content

Scammers are using the Federal Trade Commission’s good name to try to trick people into paying them — or sharing personal information. Someone might call, email, text, or message you on social media, claiming to be from the Federal Trade Commission. They might even use the name of a person who really works at the FTC, including staff, contractors, and even Commissioners.

But here’s what to know:

  • The FTC will never demand money or personal information from you.
  • The FTC will never threaten to arrest, deport, or punish you.
  • The FTC does not give awards or grants and does not conduct sweepstakes or lotteries.
  • Only scammers will demand that you pay by gift card, cryptocurrency, money transfer, or cash.
  • Don’t trust caller ID: scammers can make it look like they’re calling from anywhere, even the FTC.

If a scammer contacts you, pretending to be the FTC, your report can help stop them. Go to Share as much information as you can, including:

  • The date and time of the call
  • The person and agency name the scammer used
  • What they wanted you to do, pay, or share, including amounts
  • The phone number that showed up on your caller ID. Even a fake number can help law enforcement track the scammer.

The Office of the Inspector General is responsible for investigating these FTC impersonators. Your reports help.

Here are some scams recently reported to the FTC:

  • The scammer says you’ve won a sweepstakes or lottery but you must send money to collect.
  • The scammer says your assets are frozen until you pay a fake debt, fine, or lien.
  • The scammer says he’ll help you recover money you already lost in a scam.
  • The scammer says she’s collecting back taxes or immigration fees.
  • The scammer threatens to fine you, put you in prison, or take your property unless you pay.
  • The scammer says they’re protecting you from being scammed.
  • The scammer tells you to take money out of your bank account, tells you to wire money, get a gift card, or buy cryptocurrency.
  • The scammer demands secrecy, tells you to act right away, and says you’re about to lose money.

Remember: If someone says they’re calling from the FTC and then demands money (for ANY reason) or demands your personal or financial information, that’s a scam.

Don’t pay, don’t share, and tell the FTC right away:

Learn more about imposter scams. And if you paid a scammer, get some steps to take so you can act quickly.