(KXNET) — The Federal Trade Commission reports it is now being used in “imposter scams,” where crooks impersonate government, law enforcement or legal enforcement agencies in an attempt to get people to send money to resolve an “issue.”

What’s interesting is that the FTC, among other things, aggressively works to fight scams and scammers through education and enforcement.

People may be more likely to believe, trust and respond to a call or email purportedly from the Federal Trade Commission.

Ironically, scammers are using the good name of the group aimed at stopping scammers to more easily scam people.

The Federal Trade Commission says:

  • It will never demand money or personal information from you.
  • It will never threaten to arrest, deport, or punish you.
  • It does not give awards or grants and does not conduct sweepstakes or lotteries.

Only scammers will demand that you pay by gift card, cryptocurrency, money transfer, or cash. Don’t trust caller ID: scammers can make it look like they’re calling from anywhere, even the FTC.

If a scammer contacts you pretending to be the FTC, your report can help stop them. Go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

There has been a rash of recycled scams going around the U.S. lately. The Federal Trade Commission says watch out for these “oldies but goodies” showing up on phones, in texts and in emails:

  • The scammer says you’ve won a sweepstakes or lottery but you must send money to collect.
  • The scammer says your assets are frozen until you pay a fake debt, fine, or lien.
  • The scammer says he’ll help you recover money you already lost in a scam.
  • The scammer says she’s collecting back taxes or immigration fees.
  • The scammer threatens to fine you, put you in prison, or take your property unless you pay.
  • The scammer says they’re protecting you from being scammed.
  • The scammer tells you to take money out of your bank account, tells you to wire money, get a gift card, or buy cryptocurrency.
  • The scammer demands secrecy, tells you to act right away, and says you’re about to lose money.

A request or demand for your money or personal/financial information, wrapped in a sense of urgency and a push for quick action on your part is almost certainly a scam. You won’t be in trouble is you simply hang up.

Don’t pay, don’t share, and tell the FTC right away: ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

You can learn more about imposter scams at this link.