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People are losing big money to scammers running complicated scams. The scams usually involve someone supposedly spotting fraud or criminal activity on one of your accounts, offering to help “protect” your money, sometimes asking you to share verification codes, and always telling you to move money from your bank, investment, or retirement account. And every bit of it is a scam.

To help protect people you care about, and their life savings, share this advice on how to stop these scammers in their tracks.

Never move or transfer your money to “protect it.” Your money is fine where it is, no matter what they say or how urgently they say it. Moving it means you’ll lose it, not protect it. Someone who says you have to move your money to protect it is a scammer. Period.

Never share a verification code. Ever. Banks use these codes in online banking to prove you’re really you. If you share that code, the scammer can use it to prove they’re you. No caller — especially someone from your bank’s fraud department — will ever ask for the verification code. That’s always a scam.

Stop and check it out. If you’re worried, call your real bank, broker, or investment advisor. Use the number you find on your statement — never the number the caller gave you, which will take you to the scammer.

Report it. If you get a call like this, tell your bank or fund right away. Especially if you moved money or shared a verification code. Then tell the FTC:

Scammers keep switching stories and making the scam more complicated. And if you think your bank or investment fund will protect you, think again. To help give you the tools to spot this scam and protect your savings, we’re kicking off a series to break down the anatomy of this scam. Watch this space and keep spreading the word.

Never move your money to "protect it." It's a scam.

Our “Anatomy of an Imposter Scam” blog series breaks down how to recognize, avoid, and report business and government imposter scams. Read more.

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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.

March 06, 2024

Thank you for the information. If it's OK to tell u a few months ago I got a notification from Facebook messenger and it was your name that told me I won lots of money, I didn't no if you knew it or not

FTC Staff
March 06, 2024

In reply to by Tracy

Thank you for letting us know.

The FTC staff will never demand money, or tell you to transfer money, or promise you a prize. Please report this to, to help FTC investigators and other law enforcement agencies learn about the scams.

Nancy Meneley
March 11, 2024

In reply to by Tracy

I didnt do that. I rarely use F.B because of stuff like that.

Irene Wendy Camron
March 19, 2024

In reply to by Tracy

Thank you for all the information
I don't see this info on Facebook messenger

Jan Vidar Strøm
March 06, 2024

Jennifer Huns say she work in FTC want me to transfer 100000 nok to wise and further to moonpay,is this scammed!

FTC Staff
March 06, 2024

In reply to by Jan Vidar Strøm

That is a scam.
The FTC will never tell you to transfer money, or send money, or say you have won a prize. Do not send money or transfer your money. Do not give any information about bank accounts or personal identification.

Do you have more questions? Write a new comment and we will answer.

Bobbie D Gilbar
March 06, 2024

I subscribe to your free newsletter, and this is the first time I've seen this particular scam description. I wish that I had seen or read the details of this type scam last year, before I lost $9,770 from my bank accounts. My bank didn't care about my loss or refund my money. What I would like to add to the details you provide is that you may not be asked to provide any personal details. My scammer claimed to be from my bank's (Wells Fargo) fraud department, knew much of my personal details already, including my account numbers. The scammer spoke perfect English and earned my trust initially and throughout the call by providing his bank credentials (which I now know were fake) and that of another Fraud Specialist to facilitate protecting and moving my money to new accounts. Not once did they request my username, password, or security codes. They instead had me login to my online banking, and from there they walked me through the process of wiring my money to the Fraud Specialist Facilitator to deposit into what I thought were my new
I would have never guessed I would be scammed like this, because I kept myself informed about the latest scams. My bank even stated that my losses were the result of a very sophisticated scam meant to gain my trust from the very beginning so I wouldn't feel the need to question their instructions. I actually did question who and what midway through the process, but again, they provided their name, badge number, phone number, email, ect. to get me to believe what I was doing was correct.
My bank actually had the opportunity to catch and stop the wire transfers, but shuck that duty to act. In the same text messaging thread I received at 4:55 pm, they recognized the two large wire transfer orders and stated they are reviewing my request that could take up to two days before processing, and the follow-up statement tells me the transactions have been cleared for processing. The orders were processed by my bank at 4:57 pm on a Friday. If the bank had done a thorough review as stated in their message, the orders wouldn't have been processed until after 5:00 pm, making it Monday before the orders were processed. My
husband and I found out that we were scammed on Saturday, thus losing $9,770. The bank took zero responsibility.
Please get your messages about these sophisticated, low-life scammers to as many people who will
listen. I'll share your message to everyone I know!

FTC Staff
March 06, 2024

In reply to by Bobbie D Gilbar

Thank you for adding these details about how the scam worked. Sharing information like this can help other people spot and avoid a scam.
Please report your experience to the FTC's law enforcement database at Law enforcement agencies nationwide use that information for investigations and to build cases.

Amy Jasper
April 30, 2024

In reply to by FTC Staff

I am so sorry this happened to you. Thank you so much for explaining what happened in such great detail. I probably would have been fooled too. My husband and I got hacked by a different scammer scheme, the "your computer has been infected. Call this number" scheme which including gaining remote access to our phones by having us install Imperius Remote Desktop app.

I am reviewing this website to look for a checklist on how to recover because it's so difficult to recover. We had the Apple Genius experts wipe out all our devices so we could start over, froze all our bank accounts, added Norton Security (even though it has a terrible and confusing website), canceled credit cards, added more alerts to our credit cards, still need to contact Social Security, and take more upset stomach medicine.

Muhammad fazil…
March 07, 2024

Thanks you reply to me in email, actually one company prowealth holding, unfortunately I sent money $100 in this company, they are not back money or not any profit,I have all proof,it is scammer company,I request you please help me.I shall be grateful to you.

March 12, 2024

Thank you for the update info which helps to guard us from scammers

Sigurd Forstad
April 12, 2024

I don't know what to say, Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you once more.
You saved my miserable life.
Viva FTC. Bravo FTC.

April 15, 2024

thank you.....

chelsea hill
May 20, 2024

this happened to me the other night, and I knew nothing about this. i will be sharing this information with the world as I never want anyone to experience this.

I hate scammers.