Avoid Family Emergency Scams
How to Spot a Family Emergency Scam
Scammers have gotten very clever, contacting you by email or phone, posing as a friend or a loved one in distress. These emergencies may include needing money for bail, paying a hospital bill, or help to return from a foreign country. If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:
- Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
- Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
- Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
- Report any possible fraud or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.