Find information on common scams and frauds that can happen to you.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers may try to take advantage of you. They might get in touch by phone, email, postal mail, text, or social media. Protect your money and your identity. Don’t share personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth. Learn how to recognize and report a COVID vaccine scam and other types of coronavirus scams.
Scammers change their methods frequently. Current coronavirus scams include:
Rumors, myths, and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus can be frightening and misleading. Go to FEMA’s Rumor Control page to check out the real answers about the rumors you’re hearing.
During times of high demand, sellers may raise prices to a very high and unfair level on needed items like:
This is called price gouging and it’s illegal. If you suspect price gouging, report it to your state attorney general.
Banking scams involve attempts to access your bank account. Use this information to recognize, report, and protect yourself from them.
The most common banking scams include:
The proper organization to report a banking scam depends on which type of scam you experienced.
Remember these tips to avoid a banking scam:
Telephone scammers try to steal your money or personal information. Scams may come through phone calls from real people, robocalls, or text messages. Callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them.
It’s important to report phone scams to federal agencies. They can’t investigate individual cases. But your report can help them collect evidence for lawsuits against scammers.
For more help in resolving consumer issues, you can report scams to your state consumer protection office.
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a telephone scam:
Census scams happen when someone pretends to work for the Census Bureau to steal your personal information. Use this information to learn how these scams work, and protect yourself against them.
Some scam artists may pretend to be work for the Census Bureau. They’ll try to collect your personal information to use for fraud or to steal your identity. These scam artists may send you letters that seem to come from the U.S. Census Bureau. Others may come to your home to collect information about you.
If you suspect fraud, report it to the Census Bureau’s report it to the Census Bureau’s regional office for your state. Forward scam emails to the Census Bureau at email@example.com.
Follow these tips to ensure that your personal information stays safe:
Government grant scammers try to get your money by guaranteeing you a grant for costs like college or home repairs. They ask for your checking account information. With it, they say they will “deposit the grant money into your account” or withdraw a “one-time processing fee.”
In reality, government grants are rarely awarded to individuals. They usually go to state and local governments, universities, and other organizations. The money is awarded to help pay for research and projects that will benefit the public.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a government grant scam, report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC enters fraud-related complaints into a database available to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
If you’ve paid a fee to learn about or apply for a government grant, you can report it to your state consumer protection office. The government does not charge for information or applications for federal grants.
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a grant scam:
Investment scams promise high returns, without financial risk. Use this information to report and protect your investments.
Report investment scams, if you have been a victim.
The SEC may forward your complaint to the investment company. It will request that the company reply to your complaint. The FTC will not research your individual case of investment fraud.
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of an investment scam:
Prize scammers try to get your money or personal information through fake lotteries, sweepstakes, or other contests. Many claim that you’ve won a prize but must pay a fee to collect it. Others require you to provide personal information to enter a “contest.” These scams may reach you by postal mail, email, phone call, robocall, or text message.
To report a prize scam:
Federal agencies investigate scams and pursue criminal charges against the scammers. They don’t, however, investigate individual cases. State consumer protection offices might pursue individual cases as well as investigate scams.
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a lottery or sweepstakes scam:
Some scammers set up fake organizations to take advantage of the public’s generosity. They especially take advantage of tragedies and disasters.
The Do Not Call Registry doesn’t apply to charities. But you can ask an organization not to contact you again.
Pyramid schemes are scams that need a constant flow of new participants to keep them going. They are marketed as multi-level marketing programs or other types of legitimate businesses. They use new recruits’ “investments” to pay “profits” to those participating longer.
Pyramid schemes collapse when they can’t recruit enough new participants to pay earlier investors. These scams always fail—it’s mathematically guaranteed.
Report pyramid schemes to:
Keep these tips in mind to avoid falling for a pyramid scheme:
A Ponzi scheme is a type of investment fraud. Use this information to identify, report, and protect yourself against this type of scam.
Ponzi schemes rely on money from new investors to pay “returns” to current investors. To keep the scheme going, the scammers must continually recruit new investors and discourage current investors from cashing out. Otherwise, they will not bring in enough cash to pay current investors, and the scheme will collapse.
Report Ponzi schemes to:
Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself from Ponzi schemes:
Ticket selling scams happen when a scammer uses tickets as bait to steal your money. The scammer usually sells fake tickets, or you pay for a ticket, but never receive it. They are common when tickets for popular concerts, plays, and sporting events sell out.
Scammers, including individuals and fake resale companies, take advantage of ticket shortages by:
There are several options to report a ticket scam.
Learn what you can do to avoid becoming a victim:
Article Source: usa.gov
Before you start risking your money, check the credibility of the desired website. Search for its URL in the our long list of Scam sites, or send us a request to check its validity, and do not register, buy or invest in it until you are sure of the validity and legality of that website or platform.