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Recognize the ways scammers ask you to pay

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re raising awareness about scams targeting Latino communities. Today, we’re focusing on the different ways scammers ask (or tell) you to pay. No matter what they say, don’t pay scammers ni un centavo (not a cent).

Scammers make up lots of stories about why you need to pay — and pay quickly. They’ll pretend they’re calling from the government — like the IRS, Social Security Administration, or Customs and Border Patrol. Or they’ll say they’re with a business, utility, charity — or a tech company like Microsoft or Apple and say your computer has a virus that needs fixing. (It doesn’t.) They might even call about a family emergency. Whatever the “reason”, they’ll pressure you to act immediately by paying money. Don’t pay them.

Here are some ways that scammers will tell you to pay:

  • “Pay us by putting money on a gift card and then give us the number on the back.” — That’s a scam.
  • “We’ll send you a check. Deposit the check, and then send us the money.” — That’s a scam.
  • “Pay us by sending money through a money transfer company like MoneyGram or Western Union.” — Also a scam.
  • “Go to a store with a cryptocurrency ATM, put your money in to buy cryptocurrency, and use this QR code to send it to this address.” — Yep: scam.

If a scammer asked you to pay, report it at or, in Spanish, at Then tell your loved ones and people in your community so they can avoid the scam, too.

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.

Kevin Michael …
October 12, 2022

As a 67 year old man living alone being grateful for the internet, I wonder at times whether or not certain websites are legitimate as well as those who track you to know you are online because my landline phone rings when I travel the web. THANK YOU KINDLY.

Nafisa Rangwala
October 12, 2022

The scammers not only scam Spanish or Latinos but also other people.
I have been scammed last year and till now American Express bother me that I should pay when I have not even used any item from $4500/- which the scammers made me use my credit card to buy the cards. I had complained with the Police Department and also with FTC I have the complaint report from both and was advised not to pay them anything except to settle my amount that I had used before the scam happened.
They are trying to threaten me everytime that they will ruin my credit.

October 12, 2022

Hope your guys give the same attention to Italian Heritage month which always is in October .
Let's see what happens