Financial Tips

Beware of Government Imposter Scams

Important government programs designed to help citizens can backfire when scammers get involved!

The federal government offers the following warnings to protect consumers:

  • Government agencies generally will not call or contact you in other ways with offers to help you get your benefits.
  • Agencies will not contact you demanding payments for services in cash, with gift cards or via wire transfers.
  • They will not contact you asking for bank or credit card information, your Social Security or driver’s license numbers, or your Medicare identification.
  • To trick you, people who contact you might use official-sounding titles, spoof telephone numbers to look like they are coming from an official agency, or use official-looking graphics in fake emails.

While there are some exceptions, federal agencies generally will only contact you if you have requested to be contacted or have ongoing business with them.

If you have not first contacted an agency but receive offers for government services or requests for personal information, do not respond. That means hang up the phone, and don’t click on links or download files in unsolicited emails or texts.

If you think there could be a valid reason for contact to be made, visit an agency’s official website or look up an official telephone number and initiate contact in the manner they suggest, explaining why you are contacting them.

While it’s important to receive the benefits coming to you, don’t fall for tricks that scammers use. Take the time to think before you act.

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