Common Scams and Crimes

The following are some of the most common scams and crimes that the FBI encounters, as well as tips to help prevent you from being victimized. Visit the Bureau’s White-Collar Crime and Cyber Crime webpages for information on more fraud schemes.

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Results: 15 Items

  • Adoption Fraud

    Unethical adoption service providers can take advantage of an emotionally charged process to deceive and defraud prospective adoptive parents or birth parents considering adoption. Learn what to look out for, how to protect yourself and your family, and what to do if you're a victim.

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  • Business and Investment Fraud

    Scammers are always looking to separate you from your money in business transactions. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

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  • Business Email Compromise

    Business email compromise (BEC) is one of the most financially damaging online crimes. It exploits the fact that so many of us rely on email to conduct business—both personal and professional.

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  • Charity and Disaster Fraud

    Charity and disaster fraud schemes seek donations for organizations that do little or no work. While these scams can happen at any time, they are especially prevalent after high-profile disasters.

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  • Consumer Fraud Schemes

    Learn more about common scams that target consumers from our partners at the Federal Trade Commission.

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  • Elder Fraud

    Each year, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or confidence scheme, including romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, to name a few.

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  • Election Crimes and Security

    Fair elections are the foundation of our democracy, and the FBI is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans to vote. If you suspect a federal election crime, contact the FBI.

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  • Health Care Fraud

    Health care fraud is not a victimless crime. It affects everyone causes tens of billions of dollars in losses each year. The FBI is the primary agency for investigating health care fraud, for both federal and private insurance programs.

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  • Holiday Scams

    When shopping online during the holiday season—or any time of year—always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, and do your part to avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim.

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  • Money Mules

    A money mule is someone who transfers or moves illegally acquired money on behalf of someone else. Some money mules know they are supporting criminal enterprises; others are unaware that they are helping criminals profit. Don't be a mule.

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  • Ransomware

    Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks and demands you pay a ransom for their return.

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  • Romance Scams

    Protect your heart—and your wallet—by learning to spot and prevent romance scams.

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  • Sextortion: What Kids and Caregivers Need to Know

    Sextortion is a crime that involves adults coercing kids and teens into sending explicit images online. The FBI has several resources to help caregivers and young people better understand what sextortion is, how to protect against it, and how to talk about this growing and devastating threat.

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  • Skimming

    Skimming occurs when devices illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps capture data or record cardholders’ PINs.

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  • Spoofing and Phishing

    Spoofing and phishing are schemes aimed at tricking you into providing sensitive information—like your password or bank PIN—to scammers.

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