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Here’s one of the top questions we get from people: Is this a scam? Whatever the “this” looks like, here’s our best answer to that question: Did someone say you can only pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, or loading money on a cash reload card? If they did, then yes: that is a scam.

Here’s a video that has, in a little more than a minute, some of the scam scenarios we see – and what you should do about them.


Whether someone tells you to pay to claim a prize, help someone out of trouble, or deal with tax issues from the (so-called) IRS: nobody legitimate is ever going to say you have to pay by wiring them money, getting iTunes cards, or putting money on a MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, or Reloadit card.

So: watch the video. And if anyone ever insists you pay in one of those ways, tell the FTC. Because that will be a scam we want to know about.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

November 21, 2020
If seller says they are giving away an item you want and there are only 500 and you only pay Shipping charges. That could be a lot of money they could collect.
November 22, 2020
I have unfortunately sent money to a online love interest over a period of 2yrs,she never arrived before this xmas like she said she would to spend the rest of our lives together and no she has stopped emailing me all together, have I been scammed ??
November 23, 2020
Is putting money in a wallet they give you to pay the bank to get there money a scam
December 10, 2020
A giveaway acc on IG sent me a message that I won a giveaway winning prize, so he asked me to send a message on wattsApp or email, then after we've talked, he asked me for my bank card any card that I have and he told me to rush to the near bank And pay a 950 activation fee to get a reference number so that he will send the money immediately the money I I will send will be credited to my credit card, is this one of the way of scammers?
April 29, 2021

In reply to by AL

Run away!!!! Run far, far away!!! That is a scam! DO NOT given them your card numbers. DO NOT send them a single cent! I've gotten messages claiming that I've won some prize and to go to some link included with the message. When I see that, I just delete them and never click on any link included. I know that message is old, but for any other readers, I want to post this as a bit of education.
December 27, 2020
Hello I'm investing in and they refuse to release my money. They made me pay 15,000 in release fees. I don't know what to do. I'm so frustrated. Can someone please help me!
Talonganice Bingham
December 30, 2020
Some for U.S custom said my friend sent me a package and it seized and they want a 1000 to release it but they want me to pay by cash app
John taylor
February 18, 2021
I have been scammed by grallypay for 1710 pounds would like to no what u can do about this
May 13, 2021
What if they want the Walmart reloadable visa money card so they can add money to it
July 08, 2021
I want to report about are scammer and send me cheap fake iPhone and suppose to send me electric bike but gave me wrong item second times they are ripped offf
Terry Vanson-Penhale
September 15, 2021
I am trading with tradevision-group with crypto currency and I am trying to make a withdrawal. They are telling me I have to pay tax up front before they will send to my coinberry account and giving me a time limit. How can I tell if it's a scam ? I did look on line and they seem to be a credible company, unless they are a knock off of the real one. thanks