Five Points Bank Blog
How to recognize and report phone scams
Phone scams come in many forms, but they tend to make similar promises and threats, or ask you to pay certain ways. Here’s how to recognize a phone scam.There is no prize
The caller might say you were “selected” for an offer or that you’ve won a lottery. But if you have to pay to get the prize, it's not a prize.You won’t be arrested
Scammers might pretend to be law enforcement or a federal agency. They might say you’ll be arrested, fined, or deported if you don’t pay taxes or some other debt right away. The goal is to scare you into paying. But real law enforcement and federal agencies won’t call and threaten you.You don’t need to decide now
Most legitimate businesses will give you time to think their offer over and get written information about it before asking you to commit. Take your time. Don’t get pressured into making a decision on the spot.There’s never a good reason to send cash or pay with a gift card
Scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back — by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app. Anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer.Government agencies aren’t calling to confirm your sensitive information
It’s never a good idea to give out sensitive information like your Social Security number to someone who calls you unexpectedly, even if they say they’re with the Social Security Administration or IRS.You shouldn’t be getting all those calls
If a company is selling something, it needs your written permission to call you with a robocall. And if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry, you shouldn’t get live sales calls from companies you haven’t done business with before. Those calls are illegal. If someone is already breaking the law calling you, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. At the very least, it’s a company you don’t want to do business with.Report Phone Scams
If you’ve lost money to a phone scam or have information about the company or scammer who called you, report it at ftc.gov/complaint.
If you didn’t lose money and just want to report a call, you can use our streamlined reporting form at donotcall.gov.
Report the number that appears on your caller ID — even if you think it might be fake — and any number you’re told to call back. The FTC analyzes complaint data and trends to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns. We also use additional information you report, like any names or numbers you’re told to call back, to track down scammers.
We take the phone numbers you report and release them to the public each business day. This helps phone carriers and other partners that are working on call-blocking and call-labeling solutions. Your reports also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls.