International Fraud Scams
U.S. citizens can become victims of scams at home or abroad!
There are many different scam scenarios, but they all share a common goal: Monetary gain for the scammers
The Bureau of Consular Affairs receives daily calls about international scams involving Internet dating, inheritance, work permits, overpayment, money-laundering, and drug trafficking. Many scams originate on the Internet; victims come from all ages and backgrounds. As a general rule, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone suspects an Internet scam, report it to the FBI at ic3.gov
What can U.S. citizens do to protect themselves from scams?
- Generally, they should never send money to someone overseas they have not met in person – especially if they have met only online.
- Do not disclose personal details over the phone or online – even in social media profiles.
- Refer someone claiming to be a U.S. citizen in distress overseas to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Contact Overseas Citizens Services at (001) 888-407-4747 if someone claiming to be a U.S. citizen overseas says the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate will not help. We can offer tips for verifying if the situation is legitimate or a scam.
- Consider sending money to a person claiming to be a U.S. citizen through the Department of State’s OCS Trust program, which requires the recipient to show a photo ID to collect the money. Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest the person for more information.
- Report scams affecting seniors to the S. Senate’s Committee on Aging Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470 and read Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors. Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors.
- Before traveling abroad, research the destination’s Country Information to learn about scams common to those locations.
What are some of the most common scams?
Visit travel.state.gov/international-financial-scams and find out the most common scams