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Beware of scammers pretending to be from the CFPB

This week we confirmed that scammers are using CFPB employee’s names and imagery to try and steal your money. We’ve heard from people, specifically older adults, who were defrauded thousands of dollars from scammers pretending to be with the CFPB. If someone contacts you and says you’ve won a class-action lawsuit in a foreign country, or can receive other large, unexpected amounts of money, but must use the CFPB’s assistance to claim the funds, they are lying.

We can’t say it enough – the CFPB will NEVER call you to confirm that you have won a lottery, sweepstakes, class-action lawsuit, or about any other fees or taxes.

The CFPB does in certain circumstances, however, send payments to consumers who have been harmed by companies involved in enforcement actions. Learn about the Civil Penalty Fund and Bureau-administered redress payments to see if the payment you received from the CFPB is legitimate. We will never require you to pay money to receive money. We will not ask for additional information before you can cash a refund check that we’ve issued.

These scams often have multiple parts:

  • You receive a call or email notifying you of an opportunity to participate in a class-action lawsuit, that you’ve won a lawsuit, or that you’re owed money you didn’t expect.
  • One of these messages may come from an imposter claiming to be a CFPB or other U.S. Government agency official confirming that you are entitled to a payout.
  • Later, you’re told that to collect the money, you must first pay the taxes or some other large upfront fee. 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 you want to know whether it’s real or a scam, you can call our consumer call center at (855) 411-2372 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

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 occur in person, at home, or at a business. Here are some common signs that you’re being scammed:

  • You are told you won a sweepstakes or lottery that you did not enter, or that you are owed money from a class-action lawsuit.
  • You are asked to pay upfront taxes or fees – either foreign or domestic.
  • You are being pressured to act now and, in this most recent scam involving us, the scammers will threaten that the CFPB will open an investigation if you do not send your payment. 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 used is not a “.gov” email.

Suspect you are being scammed? Report it!

Share these tips with your friends, family, and community. Learn more about protecting yourself and others from fraud and scams.

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