Federal Trade Commission Warns of Scammers Pretending to be Agency Staff

The Federal Trade Commission is warning the public that scammers are pretending to be affiliated with the FTC to steal consumers’ hard-earned money.

The FTC will never tell consumers to move their money to “protect” it. The FTC will never send consumers to a Bitcoin ATM, tell them to go buy gold bars, or demand they withdraw cash and take it to someone in person. It will also never contact consumers to demand money, threaten to arrest or deport them, or promise a prize. If someone claims to work for the FTC and makes any of these demands or threats, they are a scammer. 

Staff has received many calls directly from consumers reporting that scammers used the names of real FTC employees to convince them to move, transfer, send or wire money. The median loss to FTC impersonators has increased from $3,000 in 2019 to $7,000 in 2024. The agency has issued guidance on how to spot and avoid these FTC impersonation scams and asks people to report them at ReportFraud.ftc.gov in English or ReporteFraude.ftc.gov in Spanish.

Government and business impersonation scams have cost consumers billions of dollars in recent years, and both categories saw significant increases in reports to the FTC in 2023. In light of surging complaints around impersonation fraud, the FTC recently announced that it has finalized the Government and Business Impersonation Rule, which gives the agency stronger tools to fight scammers and return money to consumers harmed by impersonators.

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