Call Us Today:
641.792.7316

Imposter Scams

Source: United States Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov.

What is an imposter?

An imposter is a person who pretends to be someone else. Imposters may pretend to be someone you know, like:

  • a family member
  • a friend
  • a person you feel like you know but have not met in person

Imposters may pretend to be working for the government – maybe the IRS. Imposters may pretend to be from a company you trust, like:

  • a company you do business with – maybe your electric company
  • a company that can fix your computer
  • a company that gives out prizes
  • a charity that asks for donations

What are imposter scams?

Imposters are dishonest people who want to steal your money or get your personal information. They might call you on the phone or send an email or text.

Imposters might say:

  • they are calling from a tech support company about a problem on your computer
  • you owe money to the IRS or another government agency
  • you just won a prize but you have to pay fees to get the prize
  • a friend is in trouble and needs your help
  • you got a check for too much money and you need to send back the extra

Imposters might try to get you to pay them by asking you to buy a gift card or wire money. People who say you have to pay that way are always scammers trying to steal your money. Never send money to people you don’t know – or when you are not sure if they are who they say they are.
 


How Do Imposter Scams Work?

In an imposter scam, a dishonest person lies and tricks you into sending money to them. They might call you on the phone or send an email or text. Imposters might try to get you to pay them by asking you to buy a gift card or wire money.

They might say:

  • they are calling from a tech support company about a problem on your computer
  • you owe money to the IRS or another government agency
  • you just won a prize but you have to fees to get the prize
  • a friend is in trouble and needs your help
  • you got a check for too much money and you need to send back the extra

These are all tricks.  If you pay with a gift card or wire money, the scammer will keep it.  You will not get your money back.


Paying by gift card or wiring money is like sending cash.  When you pay by gift card or wire money, you cannot get the money back.
 

There are good reasons to buy gift cards and to wire money, right?


Yes.  Many people buy gift cards to give to family and friends.  And many people wire money to family and friends in other countries.  Wiring money is a quick way to get cash to people you care about. 
 

How can I tell what is a good reason to buy a gift card or wire money?


If someone tells you to pay them with a gift card, don’t do it.  That is a scam.  Gift cards are for gifts, not payments.


If someone you do not know asks you to wire money, don’t do it.  That is probably a scam.


Scammers are clever.  They try to make things look real.


Before you do anything, stop and check.
 


What happens if I sent a gift card or wired money to someone who called me?


You might have sent money to someone who contacted you.  That money is probably gone.


If you gave money to a scammer once, you will probably get another call for money.  But you can help yourself. Do not give the scammer any more money.


You also can help other people. Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission.  Also report it to the company named on the gift card or to the money-wiring company.
 


Call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357

Go online: ftc.gov/complaint

 

 

Our Locations

 Main Office

Main Office

111 1st Ave W
Newton, IA 50208
Main office: 641-792-7316
Fax: 641-792-0200

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed
Iowa Falls Office

Iowa Falls Office

524 Washington Ave
Iowa Falls, IA 50126
Main office: 641-648-7879
Fax: 641-648-5260

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: By Appointment
State Center Office

State Center Office

213 E Main
State Center, IA 50247
Main office: 641-483-3402
Fax: 641-483-5412

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Our Providers