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Scammers Are Impersonating FTC Staff

Scammers want to gain your trust. That’s why they keep pretending to work for government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission. They might use the names of real FTC employees, but the stories they tell are a bunch of lies.

Scammers have a long list of tall tales they tell. They might say you won a prize (you didn’t) and must pay to collect it (you don’t). Or that there’s a virus on your computer or an issue with one of your accounts (there isn’t).

The scammers’ stories change, but here’s what won’t.

  • The FTC will never call you to demand money.
  • The FTC will never threaten you with arrest.
  • The FTC will never promise you a prize.

Anyone who does is a scammer. Report them to the FTC at

So how might the real FTC communicate with you?

If you reported something to the FTC and provided an email address, you’ll get an email with advice about how to recover and protect yourself.

If you’re getting a refund or payment from an FTC case, you’ll get it by check, prepaid debit card, or PayPal. The payment or claim form will tell you more about the case and why you’re getting money. To see a list of FTC cases that resulted in refunds, the name of the company sending payments, and a phone number to call with questions, go to

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