Phone Scammers Claiming To Be FTC and Other Government Agencies Promise Phony Sweepstakes Prizes, as Reported by Users

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The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has issued a Consumer Alert about phony telephone scams: “Hi, I’m calling from the FTC to tell you that you have won $250,000...” Users at are using the free Reporting Tool to attest the continuation of this scam. The scam is expanding, as callers are claiming to be from other government agencies and even the Sheriff's department.

“Hi, I’m calling from the FTC to tell you that you have won $250,000...” Don't Fall For It!

The FTC warns in a recent Consumer Alert that “Someone who claims to work for the Federal Trade Commission calls to inform you that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes. To receive the prize, all you have to do is pay the taxes and insurance. The caller asks you to wire money or send a check for an amount between $1,000 and $10,000.” Such calls are phony; the FTC never collects money directly from consumers.

Arm yourself with information and don’t fall prey to scams such as these.

Users on the free Reporting Tool at are also reporting scammers calling home, work or cell numbers and claiming to call from other government agencies and the sheriff's department.

Phone numbers can deceive: users report (and the FTC Consumer Alert verifies) that caller id may identify a Washington DC area code, or even the name of the FTC. In reality, these scammers could be calling from anywhere in the world.

Don’t fall for it! The FTC encourages consumers to report the incident at and do NOT send any money or share account information.

To find out more information about who is calling your home, work or cell number, simply type the number (even unlisted numbers) into the search tool at

Users instantly receive free information about this number, such as the type of line, the gender breakdown of the surrounding area, median household income and more. In addition, for a small fee, users can access more detailed information about the phone number owner.

Users can also check out the Resources tab at to find helpful information about the FTC including links to file a complaint. And users can make other people aware of scammers by logging unwanted calls on the Reporting Tool.

For more information visit


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Juliette Serr
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