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FTC Warns of Imposter Scams Surge, Americans Lost $2.7 Billion in 2023; How To Be Safe

The median loss to FTC imposter scams increased from $3,000 in 2019 to $7,000 in 2024.
Flag of the United States Federal Trade Commission | Wikimedia Commons
Flag of the United States Federal Trade Commission | Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is warning people of imposter scams in which criminals are pretending to be its staff to steal consumers’ hard-earned money. In a warning published on the website, the FTC urged people to be cautious as imposter scams cost Americans billions last year and the FTC imposter scams in particular have reached a new high this year. Thus, the FTC has issued advisories to help people protect themselves.


As per the FTC’s blog, scammers are creating different scenarios to use the agency’s good name and tick people into paying them money. Imposters may reach out to unsuspecting victims through a call, email, or text, or they might message people on social media, claiming to be from the FTC. They may even use the name of a person who works at the FTC, including staff, contractors, and even Commissioners. Here are some scams that were reported to the FTC.


The imposter claimed that the victim had won a sweepstakes or lottery and they must send money to collect the prize.

The scammer claimed that all the assets of the victim are frozen until they pay a fake debt, fine, or lien.

The FTC imposter claims that they can help victims recover the money they lost in a scam and ask for a payment in exchange.

The imposter may also claim to be collecting back taxes or immigration fees and threaten the victims with a fine, a prison sentence, or seizure of property unless they pay.

The scammer may claim that the victim’s accounts have been compromised and they need to hand over their money or crypto assets to the FTC imposter to safeguard their money in a safe government locker.

The FTC imposters may ask victims to take money out of their bank account, and wire them money, send a gift card, or buy cryptocurrency while demanding secrecy and creating a false sense of urgency.

According to the data previously released by the FTC, Americans lost a record $2.7 billion to imposter scams in 2023. Imposter scams were also the most prevalent scam representing 33% of the total consumer fraud reports filed to the FTC.


This year, the FTC imposter scam complaints have been widely reported directly from consumers who said scammers pretended to be FTC employees to convince them to move, transfer, send, or wire them money. Furthermore, the median loss to FTC imposter scams increased from $3,000 in 2019 to $7,000 in 2024.

The FTC’s advisory is simple, if anyone says they’re calling from the FTC and demands money for any reason or asks for personal or financial information, it is a scam. The FTC will never ask people to move their assets, send/wire them money, buy gift cards or cryptocurrency, or anything that involves money.

The FTC also advises people to never share their bank verification codes sent with anyone especially not to someone claiming to be from the FTC or a bank.

Further, the FTC advises people to spot common pressure tactics like in the case of compromised accounts, due debt/fees, or other cases where fraudsters claim that the victim’s loved ones are in danger.

In case anyone comes across an imposter scam, the FTC has urged them to report it at