Here’s how they work:
You get a call, email, text, or message on social media that looks like it’s from a business you know. It says there’s a problem with your account, or you won a prize. It tells you to call a number or click a link.
But the message isn’t really from a familiar business, it’s from a scammer. If you call, they’ll tell you to send payment or give personal information. They’ll say you must pay with gift cards, cryptocurrency, or by wiring money, which no honest business will do. Or they’ll ask for your Social Security number or access to your computer.
But it was never really that business contacting you, there wasn’t a problem, and there was never a prize.
Here’s what to do:
- Stop. If you get an unexpected call, email, text, or message on social media — even if it looks like it’s from a business you know — don’t click any links. And don’t call phone numbers they give you. These are often scams.
- Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten one of these messages, but chances are, you know someone who has.
Want to know more?
Sign up for Consumer Alerts at ftc.gov/ConsumerAlerts.