Common Scams

Below is a list of tricky ways theives can attempt to obtain your personal information. Don't be fooled by these common scams.

Wire Fraud

Scam artists use a number of elaborate schemes to get your money, and many involve money transfers through companies like Western Union and MoneyGram. Don’t wire money to a stranger — in this country or anywhere else, someone claiming to be a relative in a crisis — and who wants to keep their request for money a secret, someone who says a money transfer is the only form of payment that’s acceptable, someone who asks you to deposit a check and send some of the money back.

Fake Check Scams

In a fake check scam, you may receive an unexpected check or money order in the mail with specific instructions about sending a portion of the check back to the sender. This scam takes advantage of the good faith banks hold in their customers when allowing deposited funds to be available the next day, even if they have not yet received money for the check. Later, when the check is considered fraudulent, you will be expected to give the money back to the bank. There is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return. Learn more…

Secret Shopping Scams

Legitimate mystery shopping opportunities are out there, but so are plenty of scams. If an opportunity is on the up and up, you won't have to pay an application fee or deposit a check and wire money on to someone else.

Business Opportunity Scams

Maybe you've seen ads for stuffing envelopes or assembling crafts at home. Perhaps a company says it can help you set up a vending business. Before you sign on the dotted line or send money to buy a business opportunity, find out about the Business Opportunity Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency.

Charity Scams

If you’re thinking about giving to a charity, do your research to avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity. Here are tips to help make sure that your charitable contributions actually go to the cause you support.

Get Scam Alerts

Stay a step ahead with the latest info and practical tips from the nation’s consumer protection agency. Browse FTC scam alerts by topic or get scam alerts via email.

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