In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Federal Trade Commission is raising awareness about scams targeting Latino communities. Today, they’re focusing on the different ways scammers ask (or tell) you to pay. The FTC says: No matter what they say, don’t pay scammers ni un centavo (not a cent).
Here’s their expert advice:
Scammers make up lots of stories about why you need to pay — and pay quickly. They’ll pretend they’re calling from the government — like the IRS, Social Security Administration, or Customs and Border Patrol. Or they’ll say they’re with a business, utility, charity — or a tech company like Microsoft or Apple and say your computer has a virus that needs fixing. (It doesn’t.) They might even call about a family emergency. Whatever the “reason”, they’ll pressure you to act immediately by paying money. Don’t pay them.
Here are some ways that scammers will tell you to pay:
- “Pay us by putting money on a gift card and then give us the number on the back.” — That’s a scam.
- “We’ll send you a check. Deposit the check, and then send us the money.” — That’s a scam.
- “Pay us by sending money through a money transfer company like MoneyGram or Western Union.” — Also a scam.
- “Go to a store with a cryptocurrency ATM, put your money in to buy cryptocurrency, and use this QR code to send it to this address.” — Yep: scam.
The FTC says that if a scammer asked you to pay, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or, in Spanish, at ReporteFraude.ftc.gov. Be sure to also tell your loved ones and people in your community so they can avoid the scam, too.