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American servicemembers sacrifice so much to honorably defend the nation. But dishonorable scammers make it their mission to con servicemembers out of their hard-earned money and benefits by pretending to be trusted companies and government agencies. During Military Consumer Month — and all year round — we’re empowering servicemembers, veterans, and their families to spot and avoid impersonator scams.

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MCM Impersonator Scams

Scammers come up with all sorts of stories to convince you to send money or share your information. They might call or send you a text or email, pretending they’re tech support from Microsoft or Apple. They’ll tell you to put money on a gift card or spend cryptocurrency to protect yourself from a security breach. Don’t. It’s a scam.

Scammers also pretend to be government agencies like the IRS or Social Security Administration. They’ll claim that something bad will happen if you don’t pay or give them your personal information. Or they might say you’ll miss out on some government benefit. Either way, that’s a scam.

Here’s how to spot the fakers:

  • Know that nobody legit will ever contact you out of the blue, demanding money or information. Hang up. It’s a scam.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers know how to fake caller ID so it looks like a real phone number. Even if it has a real name, don’t trust it.
  • Never pay anyone who demands payment by wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency. Only scammers tell you to pay that way. Hang up if it’s a call. If it’s an email, text, or message on social media, don’t click any links.

You might spot these frauds — but someone you know might need extra backup. Please share this info with your friends, family, and fellow servicemembers and veterans. And report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

9 Comments


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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.
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  • 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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

Jeffery L Fourqurean
July 06, 2022

I believe these callers should be called out, with them imply scams

Nancy Sheran
July 28, 2022

A friend got scammed through a social media group. A member of the group corresponded with her at length and established trust, then told her about a government grant opportunity and provided her with the link. The program was called "Government Grant." There was no official government website (with .gov extension) or form to fill in. They asked for her to send money by gift card to get the grant. They asked her not to tell anyone about it. I've been following your blog and know that there are so many red flags here. But this unsuspecting woman was, as she said, "the perfect patsy."

Jim Joyce: USArmy
July 26, 2022

Get a couple of frauds (email, message, cell and land phone) every week. Would help if you or your agency could list the good and bad guys.
Thank you for your attention. Regards Jim

jb lynch
July 28, 2022

Youe need to do more! Try to get Zelle regulated about how, and wow they get moneys from and send too. If you have a Zelle account they do not notifiy you of monies taken out of your banking account or where it went. They are prying on the seniors to wipe either accounts dry. We need more help to stop this.

Riley McIntosh
July 26, 2022

Somebody is out there impersonating Kate Beckinsale , trying to get you to buy a teddy and roses from her pa in NYC named Scott,, price is$1300.00

Kat
July 28, 2022

I have had so many scams tryied on me lately at least 1 to 3 everytime i get on social media and i have been on it a lot lately so every day someone i know has gotten their account hacked and they are being used to try to scam people. Not to mention the amount of fraud calls i was getting on my phone at least 1 a day. Makes me so sad that people are so cruel and ignorant as to take from people in such a horrible way . I have been told i had a warrant for my arrest and that the investigator was on the way to arrest me unless i could prove i was innocent. By giving them my info. So stupid the IRS and SS Administration do not call you.

Marielle Cruz
July 28, 2022

Is onetime success shipping is legit? Because i have a package and i tracked it, it says there my package is here in my country already bjt its on hold because i need to pay 17, 000 pesos to claim it because they says that the things inside my package is expensives and need to pay the tax. Is it true??? Pls answer. Thanks

jamie
July 28, 2022

hi, I received lots of calls whit different numbers when they call the message is, we the social security office and hang off, this happens every two or three hours. please help me to block those numbers, I take medication for depression, and I was ready to register my phone number months ago but weeks ago I try verify don't let me, pls let me know if ready register my #.thank you and excuse for my writing
thanks, Jamie

Jacque del Valle
July 26, 2022

I get so many in email that I can't report them all. I have reported many. Now I am receiving emails on my text messages saying they are charging me through my PayPal account. I reported it yesterday. It was from a gun vendor or said it was. I can't believe there are so many out there trying to get information or take money. It is tiring and time consuming.