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Bottom Line Up Front

  • The main goal of a financial scam is to gain access to your money and personal or financial information.
  • Reporting fraud is a great way to help authorities catch criminals and protect others against becoming victims.
  • You can report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission, the Internet Crime Complaint Center, the Securities and Exchange Commission and law enforcement agencies.
  • If you receive any suspicious phone calls, emails, texts or social media messages from someone claiming to be from Navy Federal, report it to us right away!

Time to Read

4 minutes

June 14, 2024

Scammers are always upping their game with new schemes that seem legitimate. They may pose as someone on a dating app, your financial institution, someone offering you a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity or even a government official. Their goal is to get enough information to steal your money and possibly your identity. But, once you understand how these fraudsters work, you can defend against them. And, when you report them, you can help to protect others. Here are a few things you should know.

What’s a financial scam?

Simply put, a financial scam is a scheme to trick you into giving a fraudster access to your money and personal or financial information. Scammers will use pressure tactics to get what they want. Be wary of threats, promises of financial rewards if you act right away or appeals to your emotions.

Some of the most common ways they’ll contact you are through emails, phone calls or text and social media messages. Once you’ve responded, they’ll either try to get you to make financial transactions or keep you engaged long enough to gather information. They might even tell you they’re just verifying the information they already have on file for you. If they’re successful, scammers will use the information to guess answers to your security questions or learn your user names and passwords.

So, what should you do if you think you were scammed or you suspect someone is trying to scam you? You can start by reporting the scam. 

How can I report a financial scam?

If you fell for a scam or even if you’ve avoided a scamming attempt, you should always report it. Reporting scams helps arm authorities with what they need to act and can help prevent the scammer from hurting new victims. There are a number of ways to make a report.

  • Financial institutions. If you believe you were scammed and revealed personal or financial information, contact your financial institution immediately. You should also contact them if you notice transactions on your bank accounts or credit card that you didn’t make. They can help you stop other unauthorized charges and will conduct an investigation.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is a primary agency for reporting and investigating scams. You can file a complaint through their Report Fraud page. They offer step-by-step directions as well as answers to a number of frequently asked questions about common scams and how to report them.
  • Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The FBI created this site as a convenient way for members of the public to report internet-based crimes (also known as cybercrimes). Visit this site to file a complaint or find information on fraudulent trends, consumer and industry alerts and recent announcements.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If the scam involves securities or investment fraud, the SEC can be a valuable resource for reporting and investigating it.

You can also report scams to:

  • local law enforcement
  • your state’s attorney general’s office
  • consumer protection agencies
  • site administrators (if the scam originated online, like on a social media or dating site)

Provide as much information as possible, including:

  • what you were told
  • any documentation, like texts or emails
  • the scammer’s contact information

Navy Federal Is Your Partner in Security

Navy Federal Credit Union uses state-of-the-art fraud prevention technology to help prevent fraud and related security problems. If you receive any suspicious phone calls, emails, texts or social media messages from someone claiming to be with Navy Federal, report it to us right away.

  • Email: Forward the message to with the original subject line and include the name of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the body.
  • Phone call or text: Send an email to with the time and date of the call or text, the number it originated from and what was requested.
  • Social media message: Send an email to with the content of the message you received, along with the user account where it originated.

You can also visit our Report Fraud page for instructions on how to report a scammer, credit and debit card fraud, unauthorized transactions on accounts and more.  

Key Takeaways Key Takeaways


This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.