Scammers are calling trademark customers and falsely claiming to be from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Scammers often use a tactic called "spoofing," where they use fake caller ID information to impersonate someone. They’re trying to trick you into believing you’re talking to the USPTO, so they can steal money or personal information from you.
How to spot a spoofed phone call
It can be hard to tell if a call is from the USPTO or a scammer. Scammers often use technology to trick phone networks into displaying a name, number, and location different from their actual name, number, and location.
USPTO employees will never ask for your personal or payment information, such as your social security number or credit card details, over the phone. Do not give your social security number to anyone claiming to be from the USPTO, and only pay for trademark fees via our electronic filing system. Scammers often request or pressure you into providing credit card information and other personal data and demand you immediately pay fees, such as publication fees or deficiency fees.
The USPTO also doesn’t have preferred services or partner organizations. Scammers are spoofing the USPTO phone number to call customers with recently abandoned applications and saying they’re from the Trademark Assistance Center. They’re telling customers to pay a preferred service or a partner organization to submit a petition to revive their application.
You can only submit a petition to revive an abandoned application through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You will not receive any benefit from us for using a preferred service, partner organization, or non-attorney filing firm. If you use one of these businesses, you could void your application and it won’t be revived. These businesses are not permitted to represent you before the USPTO in trademark matters.
What to do if you receive a spoofed USPTO phone call
If you receive a call from someone you suspect is a scammer, do not give them any personal identifying or payment information. Hang up!
We recommend you then take the following actions:
- Contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) to verify the call was from a USPTO employee and for assistance on what to do next.
- If you have the number that called you, please give it to TAC.
- Check the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system to see official communications we’ve sent you about your trademark submission.
- You can view the documents we’ve sent by entering your application or registration number in TSDR and selecting the “Documents” tab.
If you paid any money or gave the caller personal information, see what to do if you’ve been scammed. Take further action by filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.