Here are four signs that it is likely a scam.

  1. Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.
    • Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government or another large well-known company. 
    • They use Technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So the name and number you see might not be real.
  2. Scammers say there's a PROBLEM or a PRIZE
    • They might say you’re in trouble with the government or you have won money in a lottery and need an account number to transfer the winnings.
  3. Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately
    • Scammers want you to act before you have time to think.
    • They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted.
  4. Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way
    • They often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back.
What you can do to avoid a scam.

  1. Block unwanted calls and messages
    • Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information
  2. Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect.
    • Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
  3. Resist the pressure to act immediately.
    • Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision.
  4. Stop and talk to someone you trust.
    • Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.
  5. Know how scammers tell you to pay.
    • Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.