Imposter scams like phony tech support scams and IRS impersonator calls continue to hit computers and phones across the country. And the scammers behind them continue to make it tough to track them down by masking their caller ID information and sending money through obscure and tangled routes. What we do know is that many of these scammers are based in India.
That’s why, at a recent FTC-led roundtable in Washington, DC, law enforcers, technologists, consumer advocates, and representatives from the Indian government and industry met to look at what more we can do to fight imposter scams. This event was the latest in a series of events in the U.S. and India.
Some key questions we posed: What tools or practices can make it more difficult — and less profitable — for scammers to run these rip-offs? How can companies and law enforcement gather and share information more effectively in the real-time race to stop these scams? And how can we help people recognize these frauds? The group heard about technologies that block calls from known scammers, recent law enforcement raids and guilty pleas, and the impact of targeted consumer education.
The roundtable partnership is just one way the FTC is taking on imposter scams. For example, as part of Operation Tech Trap, the FTC and its partners recently announced 16 court actions to stop tech support scams that tricked people into paying millions of dollars to rid their computers of non-existent viruses. The FTC also is continuing to promote technological solutions and warn people about these frauds.
But there’s more to do — and you can help. If you’re targeted by an imposter scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. You report IRS imposters to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at tigta.gov.
Find out more about these and other common imposter scams at ftc.gov/imposters. Then share what you know with your friends and family.