Avoid Scams

Scam artists use clever schemes to defraud millions of people around the globe each year. Being on guard online can help you maximize the benefits of the internet and minimize your chance of being defrauded. Learn how to recognize common scams and what you can do to avoid them.

Avoiding Online Scams

Ten steps you can take to avoid scams

Bogus Apartment Rentals

Looking for an apartment? Look out for bogus listings.

Common Online Scams

Tricks that con artists use to get people to send them money 

Debt Relief Scams

Some debt relief offers are code for bankruptcy

Fake Check Scams

A fake check can take weeks to uncover – and cost you a fortune

Hacked Email

What to do if you think your email or social networking account has been hacked.

Identity Theft

If you believe your personal information has been lost or stolen, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage

Imposter Scams

Tips to help you spot a scammer impersonating a friend or relative

Investment Schemes

Signs that a “low risk” investment is really a sham

Lotteries and Sweepstakes Scams

Have to pay to get your prize? It’s a scam.

Miracle Cures

Health products that overpromise usually under-deliver. Here’s why.

Money Transfer Scams

Scammers often insist on money transfers for payment because wiring money is like sending cash: Once it's gone, you can't get it back

Mystery Shopper Scams

Interested in mystery shopping? Distinguish real opportunities from bogus offers

Online Dating Scams

Signs that your online love is a scam artist 

Online Penny Auctions

Tips to help you understand how penny auctions work and recognize the pitfalls before you lose any money

Pay-in-Advance Credit Offers

Legitimate lenders don’t guarantee you credit – or require large upfront fees – before you apply

Phishing

What to do about messages that ask for your personal information

Spam

What you can do to reduce unwanted commercial emails

Tax-Related Identity Theft

Warning signs that an identity thief has used your social security number for tax purposes and what to do about it

Tech Support Scams

Who is calling out of the blue, claiming to be able to "fix" your computer? A scammer, that’s who.

Text Message Spam

Text message spam is to your cell phone what email spam is to your personal computer.

The “Nigerian” Email Scam

Don’t believe strangers who offer “big rewards” to help them move money out of a foreign country

Weight Loss Claims

Weight loss gimmicks that promise more than they can deliver

Work-at-Home Scams

Bogus ads often promise steady income for minimal labor