NEW! Consumer Alerts are available in multiple languages:
Consejos Para Consumidores(de La Comisión Federal de Comercio)
Visit ftc.gov/languages to learn to spot and avoid scams in multiple other languages!
Agencies Issue Joint Alert Warning Consumers to Avoid Scams Involving Virtual Currency Kiosks or Bitcoin ATMs
May 22, 2023 - Scammers are increasingly stealing money from unwitting consumers using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, often telling them to use so-called virtual currency kiosks (also known as Bitcoin ATMs). To avoid becoming a victim, do not pay anyone who contacts you and demands payment in cryptocurrency.
FTC Halts Two Student Loan Debt Relief Schemes
May 7, 2023 - You don’t have to pay for help managing your student loans.
What's legit and what's a scam?
February 21, 2023 - Scammers want your money in a hurry, and if they insist you pay by gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency it's likely a scam.
Donating to help after earthquakes in Turkey and Syria?
February 10, 2023 - Scammers follow the headlines, and when a disaster occurs they prey on your generosity. When making a charitable donation, make sure your money helps those in need and doesn't end up in the pockets of a scammer.
Credit Card Debt Relief: Get the Facts
November 30, 2022 - Credit card debt can be stressful. There are companies out there that offer to reduce or eliminate your credit card debt for a fee. But this is illegal. Find out your alternatives.
Don't Pay a Fee for Help Recovering Money Lost in Crypto
November 16, 2022 - If you’ve lost money in crypto, scammers might try to convince you they can get your money back... for a fee. This is a scam and your money will be gone.
Did you get an email saying your personal info is for sale on the dark web?
September 26, 2022 - Learn the steps to take to protect yourself from identity theft if you have received an email warning that your sensitive personal information is being sold on the dark web.
Job hunting? Look out for phony job postings
June 23, 2022 - Scammers are using the names of well-known employers to post job openings that don’t exist, in order to trick you into sending them personal information or money upfront to get the job. This alert from the Federal Trade Commission will provide ways to avoid these scams.
Did you use Western Union to pay a scammer?
April 18, 2022 - Refunds are still available to people who were tricked into wiring money to scammers through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017. If you didn’t file a claim for a refund yet, you have until July 1, 2022 to file.
Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone
February 1, 2022 - During Identity Theft Awareness Week, learn steps from the Federal Trade Commission that can help reduce your risk of identity theft.
'Tis the Season for Student Loan Scam Calls
December 15, 2021 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reminds us that federal student loan repayments will begin after January 31, 2022. Be on alert for scammers that may call, text, or e-mail to try to use any confusion around restarting your student loan payments to steal your money and personal information.
Federal Trade Commission: Avoiding a Money Mule Scam
December 3, 2021 - Scammers are looking for people to help them move stolen money. They visit online dating, job search, and social media sites, create fake stories, and make up reasons to send you money. Then they tell you to send that money to someone else by using gift cards or wire transfers. But if you do that, you might be acting as what law enforcement calls a money mule.
Department of Banking: Warning to Investment Advisers Regarding Renewal Fee Scam E-mail
April 21, 2021 - The Department has received reports that some investment advisers have received an email impersonating Banking Department Manager Kevin Maher notifying them that their investment adviser renewal fees have increased. If you receive this e-mail, do not click on the link it contains, and delete it immediately.
IRS Warns University Students and Staff of Impersonation Email Scam
March 30, 2021 - The Internal Revenue Service warned of an IRS-impersonation scam that appears to primarily target educational institutions, including students and staff who have ".edu" email addresses. The suspect emails display the IRS logo and use various subject lines such as "Tax Refund Payment" or "Recalculation of your tax refund payment." It asks people to click a link and submit a form to claim their refund.
Connecticut Bank Uncovers Fraudulent Scheme
March 8, 2021 - Savings Bank of Danbury, located in Danbury, CT, has reported that counterfeit bank checks using the bank’s name are being presented for payment.
Fake Check Scams Targeting College Students
December 2, 2020 - The Federal Trade Commission reports that scammers are targeting college students with variations on fake check scams. Remember, if someone sends you a check and tells you to send a portion of that money back to them by wire transfer or gift card it is likely a scam.
Protect Yourself from Phony Debt Collection Calls
September 29, 2020 - Be leery if you receive a collection call on a debt you already paid, or that you know is not yours. Learn the steps to take to ensure you don't fall for a scam.
Be on Alert for Fake Check Scams and Your Small Business
September 18, 2020 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reminds businesses to be leery when asked to send back the refund of an "overpayment" that was made by check. It is likely that check was fraudulent. Check out the FTC's tips to spot this all too common scam.
Important Updates Regarding Federal Student Loans
September 14, 2020 - Benefits for federal student loan borrowers under the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act have been extended to December 31, 2020.
Watch out for Scams in between Stimulus Packages
August 11, 2020 - While Congress is finalizing another stimulus package, the Federal Trade Commission reminds us to be on the lookout for scammers who try to trick us into paying for such things as mortgage relief, job opportunities, or even stimulus checks.
Phony Email Claims to be FTC Offering You Money from a COVID-19 Fund
June 30, 2020 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an alert regarding a new scam in the form of an e-mail claiming to be from the FTC that says you'll get money from a COVID-19 “Global Empowerment Fund” if you respond with your bank account information. But there is no money and there is no fund. A government entity will never contact you by e-mail, phone, text or social media and ask for financial information.
FTC Warns of Multi-level Marketing Companies Making False Claims
June 5, 2020 - The Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to six multi-level marketing companies (MLMs) that are telling people their products can treat or prevent COVID-19, or that they’re likely to make significant money if they join the MLM. The FTC says these claims violate truth-in-advertising laws and the MLMs must immediately stop their distributors from making these false claims.
FDIC Alert for Small Business Owners Applying for the Paycheck Protection Program
April 17, 2020 - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is warning small businesses to be careful when applying for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. Businesses interested in the program should get all their information at U.S. Small Business Administration website, at sba.gov/coronavirus.
FDIC Reports Scammers Pretending to be from the FDIC
March 20, 2020 - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received reports that scammers are using the FDIC name and logo, and even the names of actual employees, to send communications such as emails, phone calls, letters and text messages. The messages might ask you to “confirm” or “update” confidential personal financial information, such as bank account numbers.
Department of Banking Advises Consumers to Be Extra Cautious of Scammers During These Unusual Times
March 18, 2020 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reported that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reports that the government will soon be sending money by check or direct deposit to each of us. Be advised that the government will NOT ask us to pay upfront or pay fees to receive such funds. You will also not be asked to provide your Social Security number or any personal account information. Finally, these reports are not yet a reality, so don’t believe anyone who says they can get you the money now. The FTC is sharing this as a preventative measure, predicting that scammers will take advantage of this opportunity.
Signing Legal Documents in 2020
January 3, 2020 - The Department of Banking advises consumers not to abbreviate "2020" when signing and dating legal documents. This alert is based on information provided by the East Millinocket Police Department.