March 9, 2017

ScamAwareness.Org Spring Break Alert: As Students Hit the Beach, Scammers Hit the Phones

DALLAS, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- As millions of students get ready to leave town for spring break, ScamAwareness.Org has launched a public service campaign to warn consumers about the "person in need" imposter scam.

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In this scam, a potential victim receives a phone call or message from someone claiming to be a relative or a friend in trouble who needs money to help out with an emergency such as getting out of jail, paying a hospital bill or finding a way home from their trip. The scammers emphasize a sense of urgency and the victim's fear for their friend or loved one motivates them to send money which cannot be recovered.

"At ScamAwareness.Org, we believe that knowledge is power. That is why we dedicate ourselves to educating consumers about common money transfer scams," said Juan Agualimpia, executive director, ScamAwareness.Org.  "The organization's new series of public service announcements airs on television stations across the United States. We hope consumers will watch and share the information with others."

Tips for Handling a "Person in Need" Call or Message   

  • Remain calm. 
  • Don't volunteer information.
  • Ask to speak to the loved one directly or call them yourself.
  • Verify the person's identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn't possibly answer.

Also, avoid posting information about an upcoming trip for yourself or a loved one on social media, as scammers will use this information to their advantage.

According to the FTC,  imposter scams, like the "person in need" scam, topped the list of consumer fraud complaints in 2016 for the first time since reporting began. Consumers can learn more about common scams and how to protect themselves at

About ScamAwareness.Org

ScamAwareness.Org was founded by MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI) to raise awareness of common scams that target consumers. It provides tips and information that teach people to recognize the "red flags" that may indicate potential scams, and arm them with information that they can use to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Media Contact:
Michelle Buckalew

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