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Consumer Alert

Slow your scroll: Spot and avoid social media giveaway scams

Terri Miller
You may have heard us say when you’re shopping online, check things out before checkout. The same advice applies to giveaways on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Here’s why: One in four people who reported losing money to fraud since 2021 said it started on social media. Scammers make it hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake. Want to avoid scams on your feed? Slow your scroll and keep reading to find out how.
Consumer Alert

Publishers Clearing House deceived consumers about their sweepstakes contests, FTC says

Alvaro Puig
It’s illegal for a company to tell someone to pay to enter a sweepstakes contest, or that buying something increases their odds of winning. You might not be surprised if a fly-by-night contest promoter deceived people by saying these things. But would you expect a well-known company that’s been running sweepstakes for decades to deceive people?
Consumer Alert

Are you really the lucky winner? Spot the prize scams

Gema de las Heras
Say you hear or read the words: “You’ve won!” What will you do with your winnings? Who wouldn’t be excited to win a prize, sweepstakes, or lottery? But…did you actually win? And how do you know? Sweepstakes, prize, and lottery frauds are among the top scams people report to the FTC. These scams usually start with a call or message that says you’re a winner. (A lie.) They say to get the so-called prize you have to send money or click somewhere to give your information. Don’t. The most recent FTC data shows people reported losing $301 million to this type of fraud. That’s an average loss of $907 per person.
Consumer Alert

No — HHS didn’t reach out about free grant money

Kira Krown
Did you get a message from a friend on social media about a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant opportunity? Or from someone saying they were an HHS employee? Well…they weren’t who they said they were. They were a scammer.
Consumer Alert

The top scams of 2022

Andrew Rayo

What are scammers up to these days? Every day, people just like you tell the FTC what they’ve spotted, and maybe even lost money to.


Government Grant Scams

Offers of free money from government grants are scams. Here’s how to avoid a government grant scam, and how to report it.
Consumer Alert

Fake prize offers don’t pay

Bridget Small

The pandemic has caused financial distress because of lost jobs, income, and homes, and emotional distress because of social isolation.