Federal Manager's Daily Report

Agencies may want to step up efforts to educate their customers on the growing impersonation threat.

The inspector general at SSA has warned that scams in which the agency is being impersonated are growing more sophisticated, now including documents alleging to be from the agency.

The SSA is one of the agencies most frequently imitated in scams in which fraudsters pretend to be federal agencies seek to gain personal information or money from members of the public by claiming that they have violated a law, have submitted incomplete information, are the victims of identity theft or because of some other problem.

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The IG said it most recently has “received reports of victims who received emails with attached letters and reports that appeared to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG. The letters may use official letterhead and government “jargon” to convince victims they are legitimate.”

However, it added, such letters “may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes,” which are a common red flag in scam emails.

Other agencies commonly impersonated include the IRS, DHS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and even the FTC, which investigates such scams—all of which like SSA management and its IG, have issued repeated warnings.

“As we continue to increase public awareness of phone scams, criminals will come up with new ways to convince people of their legitimacy,” the latest warning says.

See also:

SSA Launches New Effort against Impersonation Scams

Justice Department Warns of Phishing Scam Targeting Federal Employees