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Scammers have been calling, pretending to be people from the FTC. While the names they use might be real, they’re actually scammers — some of them hoping to trick you into thinking they’re an FTC Commissioner. But they’re not. Whether the caller promises you a prize or threatens you with arrest — and even if they give a (fake) badge number — that’s a scammer. So that call from someone who wants your money or info, and says they’re Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya from the FTC — or Commissioner Noah Phillips, Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Commissioner Christine Wilson, or FTC Chair Khan? That’s a scam.

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Commissioner Impersonators

Scammers like these might demand access to your bank account. They might tell you to pay them by loading money on gift cards, buying cryptocurrency, or using a money transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union. They could say it’s a way to avoid jail, pay a fine, settle an unpaid Amazon balance, or even collect a prize. But it’s a scam.

Here are three things to know about this scam:

  1. The FTC won’t call, email, text, or message you on social media to ask for money. Anyone who does is a scammer.

  1. The FTC will never call, email, text, or message you on social media to threaten you with arrest. In fact, no government agency will do that. But scammers will.

  1. Never pay anybody who contacts you out of the blue and tells you to pay. Don’t give them access to your bank account, don’t buy cryptocurrency or gift cards, don’t wire money, don’t send cash. Just don’t pay them. It’s a scam.

Don’t respond to anyone who says they’re an FTC Commissioner or the FTC Chair — they’ll never call you to demand money, threaten you with arrest, or promise you a prize. Instead, report the scam to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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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.

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