FCC Consumer Tips and Resources

Check out these links to consumer tips and resources from the FCC that may help you avoid illegal robocall and text scams:

'Tis the season for gift giving. Unfortunately, scammers view the holiday season as an opportunity to take advantage of that giving spirit.

Holiday scams come in various forms that include unsolicited calls and texts, fake ads and emails. A few of the most common scams making the rounds this holiday season involve fake charities.

Fake charities scammers make bogus phone calls and may even create fake charity websites to try to steal your money or personal information. They may often spoof legitimate charities' phone numbers. Learn more about how to avoid charity scams and how you can identify legitimate charities.

Other robocall and text scams to keep an eye out for this holiday season:

  • The FTC has warned consumers of scammers sending fake shipping notifications via email and text messages. Scammers have also sent random text messages inviting you to tap a link to "claim your prize."
  • Remember that the U.S. Postal Service does not send text messages or emails unless you signed up for them and entered the tracking number first. Messages from the Postal Service NEVER contain links, and there is NO cost for tracking service. FedEx and UPS also have information on their websites about scam texts and other types of fraud. UPS includes information on how to tell which messages are legitimate and which ones aren't.
  • A recent survey from the AARP found that more than half of the respondents say they have received fraudulent delivery text messages, which may appear to come from a "driver" who can't find your house. Then you're asked to click on a link which could install credential-stealing malware onto your device.
  • Gift cards remain popular with scammers, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that fraud involving gift cards surged by 50 percent in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Scammers also often try to convince consumers to use gift cards as payments, especially for online transactions.
  • The FBI issued a PSA warning the public of scammers targeting online shoppers during this holiday season. The PSA offers general tips to consumers on how to protect yourself when buying or selling online. If you are a victim of fraud, report it to the FBI IC3 at www.ic3.gov as quickly as possible.

Learn more about unwanted calls and texts, including tips on how to avoid scams at fcc.gov/robocalls.

During this season of giving, please consider sharing this post especially with your senior friends and family. The AARP survey found that nearly 80 percent of respondents 65 or older have been targeted or fallen victim to at least one form of fraud this year.

The FCC is working to stop any text message scams, as well as illegal robocalls, from ever being delivered. The latest FCC rules adopted in December 2023 are scheduled to go into effect in 2024.

You can file complaints with the FCC about unwanted robocalls and robotexts and spoofing, along with telecom billing, service issues and other matters the FCC oversees. Information about the FCC's informal complaint process, including how to file a complaint, and what happens after a complaint is filed, is available in the FCC Complaint Center FAQ.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024