Federal Manager's Daily Report

In a sign of the ever-widening problem of scammers pretending to be calling from federal agencies to threaten victims into turning over personal information or money, the SSA says that scammers are now making it appear that calls are coming from its Advisory Board.

Previously, such callers had used spoofing software to make it appear that calls are coming from its IG’s office, among others. “It is the same type of scam, attempting to mislead people by using the trusted name of Social Security,” the IG said in its warning.

It repeated previous statements that the agency never directly calls persons to demand personal information or payments, that anyone receiving such information should hang up and report it to the IG at https://oig.ssa.gov/report or to the FTC. The incidents have become so common that the FTC has set up a special site just to receive complaints regarding impersonation of SSA offices, https://identitytheft.gov/ssa.

Such scam calls, also a long-running problem for the IRS, have been spreading to other agencies, as well. Recently DHS issued a warning about a new scam using the phone numbers of its field offices, following an earlier recent warning about use of several department-level phone numbers involved with immigration matters; the faked calls from DHS are designed to extort money from victims.

Meanwhile, the Postal Service IG has warned that some postal customers are getting bogus emails purporting to be from the USPS about “an attempted or intercepted package delivery or online postage charges. These emails contain a link or attachment that, when opened, installs a malicious virus that can steal personal information from your personal computer.”