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Sharing a scam experience with someone you know takes courage. If someone trusts you enough to share their scam story, especially if the scammer is still in touch with them, here’s some advice to help guide you.

  • Lead with empathy. Respond with kindness and concern instead of criticizing or expressing disappointment. Scams can happen to anyone. Keep lines of communication open with a kind, concerned response. 
  • Let them tell their story. Talking about a scam experience helps you both understand what happened. And talking about the scam also helps both of you spot it in the future.
  • Validate their story. The only person at fault here is the scammer — not your friend or family member. It’s a scammer’s job to steal money or information, and they’ll target anyone. Ask them not to blame themselves and, instead, blame the scammer.
  • Ask what we can do next together. See if their personal information was involved, too, so identity theft might be a concern. And see if they might want to report the scam. Their story can help protect friends, family, their community, and themselves, as well as helping law enforcement agencies like the FTC fight that scam. 

Want more help for your friend or family member? Here are some resources:

If scammers find the right buttons to push at the wrong time — like when we’re distracted or stressed — any of us might just pay them or share information. Thank you for helping someone through a difficult time. 

Vector image of someone talking to someone they know that paid a scammer

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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.

Jeanette Banister
April 10, 2024

thank you for sending mr this information.

April 10, 2024

Great Advice!!

Jeanette Banister
April 10, 2024

thank you for sending me this information.

Yechale Getahun
April 15, 2024

In reply to by Jeanette Banister

I used to report for you,I didn't see your good integrity with the victim me to catch the scammer and to stop my loss,the reason of reporting for you ,it didn't make me sense based on my experience. I hate scammer when relax like cool, they look like corrupted with the power... Sad experience..
Told the truth is not aggressive, it is authenticity😎.

Mark Yeag.
April 10, 2024

My mom was scammed by a scammer in Nigeria and I reported it to Western Union as they said I could recoup some of the money because they had a class action suit. I spent 2-3 day gathering all the information and sent it to them, never heard a word back from them. She had sent about $60 - $70,000. File all the information they asked for. After all that work gathering all the information it makes me wonder was I the one getting scammed by W.U. This happened back in 2020-2021. Never heard a word back from them.

Daniel K Wilson
April 15, 2024

In reply to by Mark Yeag.

I was scammed years ago through Western Union, it was hard but I was able to provide eastern Union with all the transaction information, now several years to later, then just sent me a message that they needed the in information again, well I already gave it to them and they have it or how and why would they even contact if they didn't have it, miss, you are absolutely correct when you suggested that western Union was involved, it's not right, it's not fair business practices, I also believe the entire deal is connected to Western Union and I want my money back too, but with the deceite if western union employees we might never get my money back blessings!!!!!!?

Deborah Hanley
April 10, 2024

What is absolutely unforgivable is all these government agencies do nothing to help out the victim. Yes fact finding and data collecting is important for policy making but the person who got scammed really gets no direct help whatsoever .

Debbie Willett
May 01, 2024

In reply to by Deborah Hanley

The "victim" has some responsibility in these matters. Were they looking for big rewards? If people want the government's involvement after the fact, should citizens allow the government to "protect" them before the fact? What is the "government help" people want? Reimbursement by tax payers? Or a branch of government with the power to manage citizens money, keeping them "safe", protecting their assets, monitor their spending? Seriously, take some accountability for your actions.

Deborah C Johnson
April 10, 2024

Thank you I did contact FTC I was scammed out of 22,500.00 to Homematters USA CASE IS PENDING BUT YOU NEVER TELL US HOW TO RETRIEVE OUR MONEY BACK; in other words FTC DO INVESTIGATE, but often we the victims never are compensated

FTC Staff
April 10, 2024

In reply to by Deborah C Johnson

If the FTC files an enforcement matter related to something you reported, and gets money back for people, we will try to contact the people who filed reports, and other people who lost money. Read the Frequently Asked Questions to learn about what happens after you report something to the FTC at

We also explain the steps involved in getting refunds to people. Go to this page to read those steps:….

The FTC has a public list of active refund programs at The list tells you who to contact if you have a question about a refund in something on the list.

Lisa Koffler
April 10, 2024

I was scammed last year, but I had friends who were able to help me undo the damages!

I didn't get back the stolen money, but I was lucky enough to have it replaced in my investment portfolio, while my monthly allowances replenished my checking and savings accounts!

April 10, 2024

I was cornered by my family and accused of lying and deceit. It was a horrible shaming experience and continues to bring me to tears. They will never know my full story because they didn't want to "listen" to me. I've been in some type of pain ever since. Thank you for sharing this vital, kind approach to helping others who might feel trapped in their scammer's web.

April 17, 2024

In reply to by Taci

I have to agree that it’s emotionally and mentally the worst pain to go through and some people have taken their life because of all these scammers and everything they have done to cause so much pain and even death and I don’t want anyone to go through it was like I didn’t have any control over myself and I couldn’t believe the things I normaly would never said,did or done or whatever it was as I was brainwashed and had no control but I help others to know and bring awareness about this now

April Collier
April 10, 2024

We've been scammed, and it is a nightmare to get it resolved. These crooks are getting wiser by the minute, we all need to be aware of their tactics. Thank you for putting this info out here ... keep it up!

April 10, 2024

why isn't the federal government doing more to stop these international scammers from preying on Americans? Can't these phone calls from around the world be stopped? Our tax money is going into this website telling people to be kind--but nothing is being done to end this horror!

April 10, 2024

I am educated more on identity theft, and various scammers!

Thank you

Beverly Varner
April 11, 2024

My husband was scammed a few years ago out of 1000$ off an Apple card the scammer sent a text & when my hubby called a # given to him the man on the phone told him to enter 99999 as a code, well next thing you know the 1000 was gone! We were devastated because we are not rich & had recently recieved that money & needed it badly for bills.We tried all kind if things, then I came across this website. My hubby sent FTC a message explaining what happened & the on line bank that was holding the $ told us they couldn't return it to us because....I dont remember, but we did get the $ back on the Apple card then moved it to our checking account! We couldn't believe it, it had been 1 year!!! So, don't give up!! Someone @the FTC is listening & I am so thankful. Whoever you are God Bless You!!!

mister sam
April 11, 2024

I was actually a victim and I was scammed for around 2k. Trying to get extra money for my daughter and bills. To anyone reading this do not try anything that sounds to good. I tried the bitcoin flip and all they do is tell you you have to pay more and more for the transaction fees.

Barbara Baker
April 11, 2024

This is very important info for people to know. I will share with others. Thank you.

Warren Robinson
April 11, 2024

Thank you for this information, I am evidently a victim of both scamming, jamming and identity theft, it turns out, it is more difficult and costly to reclaim my identity, than anything else I have undertaken. It's frightening, however I was not previously aware that the FTC is a law enforcement agency, that is a good thing.

April 11, 2024

The only way to stop them would be a world alliance with big exemples.
Unfortunately, some governments encourage them.

Peter Kim
May 03, 2024

My name is Peter Kim received my benefits from my partner
thru my Capital One Platinum Credit Card amount of over $100,000 from March 31 to April 10 and confirmed it and paid my credit card debt $480.96 thereafter all rest of money disappeared in the Bank Because one of employee mentioned he transferred to other department but other department said nothing received. I think it was disappeared on April 24 or April 25 . I appreciate you to look into this case as soon as possible please.

Bonnie Sullivan
May 08, 2024

I paid a scammer or my daughter did. Because our info is being used to make sure we can't communicate with each other & banking problems ect.

May 21, 2024

I recently have been involved in a well-plotted, highly synchronized scam that cost me my life savings,my marriage. I understand these people have no regard for human dignity.
These scammers objectively define your weakness, in my case I was looking for a job in the medical field received at the time thought a legitimate offer, signed an NDA with a company, and then the curtains went up, and the money went away.
Two people, that is all it took. One pretending to be a decision-maker in the company and the second individual pretending to be a financial analyst/advisor one of the largest investment firms in North America. Shirley and Mark. I was set up from the beginning, but thought that the universe had opened its arms to me, but indecisively it was a black hole. It is true, if it feels like it’s too good to be true, your intuition is right! It is false, there is no making money, they freeze your money on a platform that they have manipulated and have total control, even though you thought it was legitimate because you got it off of the App Store it’s not it’s a scam. Stay away from cryptocurrency, bitcoin and anyone that says they will help you make money as they steal your money. Because now all I have is nothing. No one will listen or help. So you move forward feeling like a stupid person who believed in something that was going to make your family life better, just once, have something happen which resulted positive from life. It’s too good to believe so you know its false. Go with your instinct because they, like you, wont let you down.