Phone scammers are preying on consumer fears over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, calling and texting with scam offers for free home testing kits, bogus cures, fake health insurance, and more.
Cell Phone Fraud Takes Many Forms
Scammers have ways to gain control of a target’s private texts and calls, and may then try resetting credentials for the victim's financial data and social media accounts.
Army, Selective Service Warn of Bogus Texts
A recent wave of text messages telling recipients they have been selected for a new military draft has been debunked by the US Army.
Stealing All the Credit
Watch out for scam callers pretending to represent banks and credit card companies. They use a variety of tactics, such as bogus fraud alerts or promises of lowered interest rates, to steal your personal information and your credit.
Beware of Holiday Charity Scams
Don't let scammers stifle your charitable spirit. A little advanced research can ensure your contributions are reaching the intended recipients. Learn how to avoid becoming a victim of holiday charity scams.
Health Insurance Scam Attempts Spike During Open Enrollment
Open enrollment season is when many Americans enroll in or change health care plans. But to many scammers, it is open season on consumers.
'Juice Jacking': The Dangers of Public USB Charging Stations
When traveling, charging your device at public USB ports found in airports, trains, hotels and elsewhere can have unfortunate consequences. Reports say charging ports and cords can be hacked to infect devices with malware.
A Phone Scam That Starts With a Postcard
In a complaint filed with the FCC, a consumer described a scam that began with a postcard marked "urgent, regarding a reward" in the consumer's name. When the consumer called the toll-free number to claim the prize, the woman who answered said there was a "handling fee."
Don't Let Your Mobile Number Get Hijacked
Scammers may target your mobile number to access private texts, calls and other personal information. Posing as you, they ask your phone company to 'port' your number to a new device, enabling them to reset your financial and social-media access credentials before you know it.
Older Americans and Medicare Card Scams
Robocall scams can often seem random, but that's not always the case. Sometimes they are highly targeted - as with older Americans whose Medicare eligibility opens the door to health insurance fraud.
Distracted Walking a Campus Concern
As students arrive nationwide for the fall semester, evidence that mobile phone use endangers pedestrian safety on campus and elsewhere has prompted some states to ban distracted walking.
Your Kid's First Phone
There comes a time when every parent must face the rite of passage that is their child's first cell phone. It can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. We have some suggestions that might help.
Older - but Wiser - Telecom Users
Just in time for Older Americans Month, studies show Baby Boomers' daily smartphone use rivals Millennials', but the younger generation falls for phone scams more often.
Guard Yourself Against Social Security Spoofing Scams
Nearly all of your financial and medical records are connected to your Social Security number, making it a prime target for robocall spoofing schemes. Avoid becoming a victim by taking a few simple steps.
FCC Call Center Number Spoofed in Chinese Consulate Scam
Chinese-language calls that refer to, or display, 1-888-225-5322 (1-888-CALL-FCC) on caller ID are fraudulent, and you should hang up immediately.
- More About This Scam | FCC提醒消費者注意被假冒的1-888-Call-FCC電話號碼
- From the Archive: Chinese Americans Targeted in Consulate Phone Scam | 繁體中文
Check Your Phone Bill for Slamming and Cramming
Slamming is the illegal practice of switching your wireline phone company service without permission. Cramming is the illegal act of placing unauthorized charges on your phone bill. Check your monthly phone bill closely and learn what you can do if you find a billing issue like slamming or cramming.
Don't Fall for Spoofed IRS Calls
While scammers know no season, the Internal Revenue Service does. To avoid tax scams, it helps to know the do's and don'ts.
Sophisticated Spoofing Tactics Used in Tech Support Scam
Spoofing scammers seem to get more clever with time, creating new, wickedly deceptive wrinkles to old scams aimed at consumers. Over the past year, the FCC has seen an increase in the number of consumer complaints about tech support scams. Consumers should take note and be wary of any unsolicited tech support calls.
Scammers See Opportunity in Open Enrollment Season
Open enrollment season for health care plans is becoming open season on consumers as spoofers and robocallers pose as insurers and try to pedal bogus plans.
Avoid the Temptation of Smishing Scams
"Smishing" is a mashup of SMS - for short message service - and phishing. These types of deceptive text messages are used to bait you into clicking a link or making a call. Learn how to avoid getting hooked.
FCC Rules for Political Robocalls and Robotexts Explained
Did you get an increase in calls and/or texts from - or about - political campaigns this election season? You're not alone. Learn more about FCC rules for political robocalls calls and robotexts.
Scam 'Charities' Will Take Your Money and Run
News images of destruction caused by natural disasters may inspire you to give what you can when calls from charities reach you. As you do your part, though, take care to ensure your money is really going to a worthy cause.
Beware New Medicare Card Scams
A decision earlier this year by Medicare to stop using its beneficiaries' Social Security numbers as account numbers has not gone unnoticed by scammers.
Skip This IRS October Surprise
With the Oct. 15 filing deadline approaching for taxpayers who sought extensions last April, recent news reports indicate a spike in calls from scammers claiming to be with the IRS.
Finding Charities to Believe In
Scammers count on Americans' good will after natural disasters. If you get a cold call asking for a donation, check the charity's legitimacy before offering your credit card number.
Veterans Targeted in Benefits Scams
Veterans who receive calls or messages claiming to be from "veterans services" should have their guard up. Scammers are attempting to steal personal and financial info using caller ID spoofing.
Back-to-School Scams Test College Students
As college students across the country settle in for the fall semester, they may find themselves prime targets for scammers seeking to capitalize on the busy academic season.
Protecting Military Families from Imposter Scams
In honor of Military Consumer Month, the FCC is helping raise awareness of scams in which bad actors use robocall and caller ID spoofing to target U.S. servicemen and women and their families.
The FCC received numerous consumer complaints about scammers trying to steal money or personal information by posing as Chinese consulate employees. The callers speak Chinese and have been targeting areas with large Chinese American populations.
Broadband improves lives for people of all ages, from connecting far-flung family members and friends to providing easy online access to a virtual world of goods and services. The FCC provides information about how - and why - you can Get Connected.
Grandparents often have a difficult time saying no to their grandchildren, and con artists know it. Be on alert for scam callers impersonating family members in crisis.
Because phone scams can be multi-lingual, the FCC offers translations of its consumer guides with tips for dealing with different types of scams. Guides are available in Spanish as well as the four Asian and Pacific Islander languages most commonly spoken in the U.S.
As if to show they hold nothing sacred, bad actors have recently used the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) in an attempt to scam consumers in the New York metropolitan area using spoofed caller ID.
If a call sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of callers spoofing phone numbers to impersonate government agents. These scammers are after your money or personal information.
The FCC and FTC co-hosted an Expo for consumers on April 23 in Washington. Exhibitors showcased technologies, devices and applications to minimize or eliminate illegal robocalls.
Scammers - often using caller ID spoofing - are impersonating law officers and threatening unwary consumers with fines or jail unless they immediately make payment for "missing jury duty."
The FCC and FTC co-hosted a Joint Policy Forum highlighting the actions the agencies and others have taken to fight the scourge of illegal robocalls.
- Watch Video of the Event (3/23/18)
Don't be fooled by a spoofed number that appears to be from the IRS. Watch out for this perennial phone scam, which is especially prevalent during tax season.
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief Patrick Webre discusses illegal robocalls, Caller ID spoofing, bill cramming and more.
- Video: CGB Chief Webre on Top Consumer Issues
- Video: Chairman Pai Kicks Off NCPW 2018
- Consumer Alert: 'Neighbor Spoofing' Scam Calls
WEA is a public safety system that allows customers to receive messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.
Telecommunications tips and other helpful resources to use during and after a natural disaster emergency.
What should you do to prepare for a natural disaster emergency? The FCC and FEMA have tips that can help.
- FCC/FEMA Tips for Communicating During an Emergency
- Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands Updates | Post-Storm Scams
The FCC and FTC hosted a free webinar to share tips for consumers this holiday season.
- Video: Watch the Webinar | FCC Consumer Advisory
- Video: Chairman Pai - Avoiding Robocalls and Spoofing
Scammers are always looking for new victims and, unfortunately, natural disasters leave people at their most vulnerable.
You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. If you're suspicious about a call, don't respond to any requests for personal information and hang up.