Beware Scammers Pose as FTC Staff to Steal Money

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Beware Scammers Pose as FTC Staff to Steal Money

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a public warning about the increasing number of impostors claiming to be FTC officials to scam people out of money. These scammers use tactics such as instructing victims to move money under the guise of protection, sending them to Bitcoin ATMs, buying gold, or withdrawing cash for direct handover. The FTC emphasizes that it never demands money or makes such requests. Reports show that the median loss to these scams has jumped from $3,000 in 2019 to $7,000 in 2024.

Referencing the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) report for 2023, the FTC and FBI observed a surge in government impersonation frauds, with over 14,000 complaints leading to losses exceeding $394 million in the previous year—a 63% increase from 2022. In response to the rising trend, the FTC has finalized the Government and Business Impersonation Rule, granting the agency more power to combat fraudulent activities and aid victims.

The FTC and the FBI encourage the public to be vigilant and report any suspected impersonation schemes. Both agencies offer tips to recognize and avoid scams, such as disregarding unsolicited pop-ups, email links, and attachments, refraining from downloading software on the request of strangers, and denying remote computer access. The FTC reiterates that it does not contact consumers to demand money, threaten legal action, or offer prizes, urging the public to stay informed about the latest consumer protection news and report fraudulent behavior.

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