Imposters. Impersonators. Fakes. Frauds. Phonies. You might call them by different names but these scam artists have one thing in common: they pretend to be someone they aren’t and tell you a bogus story to con you into wiring them money.
The crooks will give you a pretty convincing reason to wire money. They might say you owe the IRS taxes and you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay up. Or that you won a federal grant and have to pay a processing fee to get your money. Some even tell you a loved one’s in trouble and needs your help.
They might tell you to use a money wiring service to add funds to a 16-digit account number they give you—they say it’s your case number or account number, but it’s not. Once the transfer goes through, the money’s gone and you can’t get it back.
Government agencies will never ask you to pay by wiring money. Neither will legitimate businesses. If someone insists you pay by wiring money, it’s a scam. Don’t do it. Instead, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint or 1-877-FTC-HELP.
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