No, FTC People Will Never Ask You To Move, Transfer or Send Money

Scammers impersonating FTC staff have bilked people out of thousands so far this year. What to Know.

A person looks at a cell phone that shows a spam call.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning to the public that scammers are pretending to be affiliated with the agency by using the real names of staff members to steal money.

The FTC issued the warning after its staff received “many calls” from consumers that were convinced to move, transfer, send or wire money to the scammers, the FTC said. The median loss for consumers on FTC impersonation scams has increased from $3,000 in 2019 to $7,000 in 2024, the agency added.

Imposter scams are on the rise as a recent report shows, and they are fooling more of us. In a recent case, a financial-advice columnist was scammed out of $50,000 by imposters posing as CIA government officials.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

The FTC said to know that:

  • It will never tell consumers to move their money to “protect it.”
  • It will never send consumers to a Bitcoin ATM, tell them to buy gold bars or demand that they withdraw cash and take it to someone in person.
  • It will never contact consumers to demand money, promise a prize or threaten to arrest or deport them.

If any of these claims are made, the person you are talking with is a scammer, the FTC said.

The FTC provides additional information on its How to Avoid Imposter Scams webpage.

Four signs of a scam

The agency lists the following as common signs of a scam:

  • Scammers pretend to be from an organization you know: Fraudsters will often claim to be from a government entity, such as the FTC or Social Security Administration, or from your utility company, a tech company or even a charity.
  • Scammers say there’s a problem or a prize: Scammers will often say that you’re in trouble, owe money, someone in your family had an emergency, or that there’s a virus on your computer, which is usually followed by asking to verify some of your information. You may also be told you won a prize but have to pay a fee to receive it.
  • Scammers pressure you to act immediately: The scammer will want you to act quickly before thinking the situation through. They may also threaten to arrest you, sue you or deport you.
  • Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way: The scammer will often claim you can only pay using cryptocurrency, wiring money through a service like MoneyGram or Western Union, using a payment app or by putting money on a gift card and then providing the card details to the scammer.

If you become aware of a scam or fall victim to one, the FTC wants you to report it by going to

Related Content

Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.