Protect Yourself From Scams

Protect Yourself from Scams

Fake IRS Agent Scams

  • The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually through the mail and not by phone.

  • If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be the IRS, it is likely a scam. If you are unsure, look up the actual phone number for the agency and call it to determine the validity of the call.

  • Never wire money to someone you don't know. It's nearly impossible to recover money that was wired to a scammer or thief.

Learn to Recognize and Avoid the IRS Impersonation Scam

BBB Scam Tracker

Spot a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud? Tell us about it. Help us investigate and warn others by reporting what you know.

  • BBB developed Scam Tracker to provide consumers a place to report scams and fraud, and warn others about suspicious activity. Take a look at the heat map to see crowdsourced data on scams in your area:

  • All BBBs in the United States and Canada are collecting this data and sharing it with law enforcement agencies, helping to identify and prosecute scammers.

  • Scam reports are being sent to the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) for analysis and collaboration with law enforcement to help stop the most flagrant scammers through prosecution and other legal means.

  • Go here to read the inaugural BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, which provides comprehensive insight into scams based on the more than 32,000 reports made in 2016.

Learn More

Stay up to date on scams in your area.

Protect Yourself

Computer Tech Support Scams

  • Never give control of your computer to someone you don't know or haven't hired.

  • Never wire money to someone you don't know. It's nearly impossible to recover money that was wired to a scammer or thief.

  • Contact your computer or software provider directly if you need help.

How to Recognize and Avoid the Tech Support Scam

Debt Collection Scams

  • Never give out information over the phone regarding debts you have not verified.

  • Scammers often attempt to collect “phantom" debt — this includes not only fake debt, but also debt that has previously been paid, and debts that were otherwise discharged.

  • Legitimate debt collectors will not threaten or harass you; they know that behavior would violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Scammer or Debt Collector? Know Your Rights

Fake Government Grant Scams

  • The government will not call unsolicited to offer you a grant.

  • There is no charge to apply for a government grant. It's a free process.

  • Don't give out your personal information without verifying the source of the communication.

Recognize and Avoid Bogus Government Grant Offers

Sweepstakes Scams

  • Remember-- it's impossible to win a sweepstakes or contest that you didn't enter.

  • Legitimate prizes do not have processing fees, and taxes are paid directly to the Internal Revenue Service after winnings are collected.

  • If someone asks for your bank account number, Social Security Number, or other sensitive information before sending your sweepstakes “prize," that should be an automatic red flag.

Beware of Prize Scams 101

Important Information!

The latest scam research revealed that we are all more vulnerable to scammers than we expect – regardless of age, education, employment, or financial status.