Skip to main content

This pandemic has brought lots of side effects. Lost jobs, lost income, and lost homes are themes we see around the country — and scammers know just how to take advantage of these worries. Another side effect of the pandemic is isolation, which scammers also like to use to their advantage. During National Consumer Protection Week, which starts today, I’m asking you to join me in fighting isolation to fight scams.

The FTC knows that people who talk about scams are much less likely to fall for them. So, when people of any age are on their own too much, they don’t have the chance to talk things out. And when scammers — who are calling, emailing, and texting — might be a person’s main source of contact, nothing good happens next.

So, today, pick up the phone. Call someone you haven’t talked with in a while. Maybe somebody who might be too much alone. See how they’re doing. And work into the conversation these ideas:

  • Scammers have lots of fake stories: early or guaranteed access to vaccines (no such thing), you’ve won a prize (you haven’t), your computer needs tech support (it doesn’t), they’re an online love interest (not if they want money).
  • Whatever their story, scammers want you to pay or share your personal information.
  • Nobody legit will ever (EVER) tell you to pay by gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
  • No government agency will ever call/email/text to ask you for money, your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number.

After you’ve reached out and shared these ideas, invite your friend or relative to call you back: just to talk, or if something fishy comes up and they want a second opinion. And if someone paid a scammer, please tell them to report it:

Tune in this week for more key scams to warn people about. We’ll help you start those conversations.

Search Terms

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.

March 01, 2021
Thanks so much for informingl
March 01, 2021

In reply to by Mbk35

I am a 71 y/o senior and I am very inform and computer literate and I try to inform on all social media platforms about the scams being perpetrated on especially seniors. We are in trying times and must look out for all persons
Don't use your…
March 01, 2021
I would be glad to help you. I’ve notified Facebook of a couple of scams in the last couple of days.
March 02, 2021

In reply to by Don't use your…

I Haven't used my facebook since I was able to connect with sec I was no longer able to use my account until just recently the last message I sent was paper only please
March 01, 2021
Good idea. Let us do it together. Focus on the main problem: scammers use unsolicited phone calls and email. That should be the focus. Even with caller ID and opt out, I still can't answer the phone unless I know who is calling or they leave a message. I'm basically paying for a phone service I can't use. And not all doctors call from their office so I can tell it is them. So in an emergency I do not have full use of the phone with incoming and outgoing calls. This is criminal and can't go on.
March 01, 2021

In reply to by Garush

That is a good point. I never thought of it that way.
Amy and Abuelo
March 01, 2021
I am receiving a lot of scam emails reporting to be from Amazon advising me that my account has been charged for an iPhone. Also receiving scam emails advising me that my credit card has been charged for $500 to purchase Norton Anti Virus protection. All of these were scams. Do not click on any attachments. Delete them!!!
March 01, 2021

In reply to by Amy and Abuelo

We have the two you mentioned as well - several times over! We also have one mentioned in one of the other comments threatening to report me to the credit bureaus for an outstanding debt of "$623.33 due on September 4th"; letters mailed to me regarding this debt on "August 6th and July 15th". NOT! No outstanding debts and no "letters". I pay our bills on time if not EARLY. I used a website to track the phone number which is (855) 972-9873. They do not exist - no company, no person, no anything. And, they are extremely threatening. We all need to keep our guard up.
March 02, 2021

In reply to by Amy and Abuelo

I get this very same thing only in a landline phone call non stop ? Help
March 02, 2021
When you get a pop up with alarms from "Microsoft" saying that your computer has been compromised and to call the number on the screen don't fall for this. Microsoft does not send these types of alarms. If by some chance you do call make sure you ask the person for a case ID which is a long numeric number without letters if in reality it is Microsoft. The large pop up will indicate that you should not power down or shut off your computer which you really should do.
March 01, 2021
I keep getting this email and have reported it to Netflix: Your Netflix account will be locked because your payment was declined
March 01, 2021
Should be - National Consumer Protection Year
March 01, 2021
Received an automated call, Southward Edison your power will be turned off in 30 minutes. Do you want to talk to our billing dept? Our bill is paid up, it was a con. March 1. 2021
March 01, 2021
I never thought I would fall for a scam, but I did on January 31. I inadvertently clicked on a site that was an exact duplicate of Amazon...and right into the hands of the scammers. I had a $1900 lesson. A conversation with the real Amazon yielded the information that the scammers have developed an identical site...can't tell the difference, and claim that your account has been compromised. Of course, they will help you clean out the viruses and security compromised data. A very skilled person keeps you on line while his buddies scan and examine every part of your computer that they can reach, and your phone if paired to your computer. I have told everyone I know about the scam. Also, Microsoft is being used in the same way. These guys are GOOD.
March 02, 2021
My husband has medical problems that effects his mental health and he is a senior citizen. He has been scam so many times and change his phone number they find him. I have repoted this so many times to every goverenment agency and nothing ever happens to stop this. These people don't always change there number, I just wish i could find help
FTC Staff
March 02, 2021

In reply to by Robynsnyder

You might be able to block some calls from getting through. The FTC has tips on how to block calls on mobile phones, land lines, and on phone service that comes over the internet (VoIP service) at

March 01, 2021
On Saturday, I received the oddest looking message. I thought it was a text (SMS) message but it turned out to be a picture (MMS) message. I spent the day trying to reach out to T-Mobile to verify the authenticity of the message but I never got a definite answer. Customer service just kept passing my call around (after I waited for 2 hours to speak to someone -- twice!) Who can I contact about this? Because it is an MMS message, I cannot copy and paste the text. My only option is to share the picture.
March 01, 2021
Someone from Amazon called and asked what kind of phone I had... an Android or IPhone, after disputing a fraudulent transaction for gift card.. WEIRD!!!
March 01, 2021
I also tell people about scams and how many crazy calls I get each day. Medicare and the Amazon scammers call me 2-3 times each day always telling me to call the same number. Why can't you do something about that - can I call my local police. I've reported things on this site and never hear one thing back. Can't these people be stopped. I'll help in any way but something has to be done Thank you
March 01, 2021
I was a victim of Gift Card scam a few days ago , the scammers prey on my honesty, I has not aware of it. I don't understand why our government has not pass a law to require all companies to post sign by the gift cards store display to inform the public This warning sigs are created by FTC and publish in this website . There use will stop this robbers.
Don't kittisak…
March 01, 2021
Thank you so much
March 03, 2021
My husband was recooperating from a fall and became involved with a scam which resulted in over $l00,000 in credit card debt. I wasn't aware of his banking transactions, this has been a hardship for me, he passed away 5 months ago. His dementia contributed to this elder abuse. I have phone numbers, addresses, post office evidence, etc., FBI tells me there is nothing anyone can do. In all his 82 years he never had bad credit.
March 03, 2021
My ex husband is currently involved in a scam from an on line facebook dating site. A woman who said she is from the Phillipines. She text a few times and now calls a few times... Always through messenger... Always saying she works hard... She can't afford rent.... He sends her $500+ a month. He is on S. S. I. .... He can barely afford himself. We have all tried to talk to him. He refuses to see that this is not real. This has been going on now for over 6 months. How do we talk to him and stop this ????
g8rmom use yo…
March 06, 2021
The best one I got was you owe the IRS and they have a warrant for your arrest. Send us X dollars and we will help you from being arrested. Don’t fall for that because they will contact you by regular mail.
Randy McFarland
March 18, 2021
I don't understand why the Fraud Department of my bank only has minimal access to information about who is charging my debit card for $27.32 under names I don't recognize. "WE Health Benefits" and "101 Health Benefits". I think that every entity that runs a charge to a debit card should be required to give a phone number or way to contact them if charges are being questioned.
Fotoguy use y…
April 21, 2021
Email is circulating that your being charged a renewal fee for Norton security. The scammers claim to discontinue your account and not be charged, they want to have you use “my team” so they can gain access to your computer