Beware of new CFPB imposter scams
January 16, 2024 / Source: CFPB
This week, we confirmed that scammers are using CFPB employees’ names to try to defraud members of the public. We’ve heard from people, specifically older adults, who received phone or video calls.
We can’t say it enough – the CFPB will NEVER contact you and ask you for sensitive information or to pay money. This includes never asking you to pay an upfront fee or taxes, or telling you that you’ve won a lottery, sweepstakes, or class-action lawsuit. We also won’t ask you for personal or sensitive information before you can cash a check we’ve issued.
The latest phone and video scams may include:
- A phone or video call or an email from an imposter claiming to be a CFPB or other U.S. government official
- Messages or calls notifying you of an opportunity to participate in a class-action lawsuit, or that you’ve won a lawsuit or owe money you didn’t expect.
- Being told you must first pay taxes or another upfront fee to collect the money. They may continue to find “reasons” for you to pay more fees or taxes. It is all part of the scam.
If you’re contacted by someone from the CFPB and want to confirm whether it’s real or a scam, call our consumer call center at (855) 411-2372 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
Also, if you’re expecting to receive a payment as a result of a CFPB enforcement action, you can learn more about the status of the payments by case and who to contact if you have questions.
Signs of an imposter scam
Scammers could reach out to you by phone, mail, email, text message/SMS, social media, messaging apps, or through other online channels. Scams can also occur in person, at home, or at a business.
Here are some common signs of a scam:
- You’re told you’ve won a sweepstakes or lottery you didn’t enter, or that you’re owed money from a class-action lawsuit.
- You’re asked to pay upfront taxes or fees – either foreign or domestic.
- You’re being pressured to act now. Scammers don’t want you to take the time to do research or to think too carefully before parting with your money.
- A person claiming to be a government official contacts you to confirm your windfall. The emails sent may even appear to be from real government email addresses, but if you look further, the email is not from a “.gov” email.
Learn how to protect yourself
Criminals and scam artists may try different tactics or ways of reaching you, but here are tips for how to protect yourself or your loved ones from scams:
- Don’t share sensitive information – Avoid sharing Social Security numbers, account information, or credit card numbers with people you don’t know.
- Never pay upfront for a promised prize – If you’re told you must pay fees or taxes to receive a prize, it’s a scam.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – If someone is trying too hard or pressuring you, you can always walk away.