Scam Alert: Government Impersonators
A government impersonator scam is when a fraudster poses as a government official in order to get access to your personal information or money.
You might get a call, email, or text message from someone who says they’re from the Social Security Administration or Medicare. They say something alarming — like your Social Security number has been suspended. Or maybe you’ll miss out on a government benefit. To fix it, they say you must pay, give them your personal information, or put your money on gift cards and read them the PIN numbers.
The caller may know some of your Social Security number. And your caller ID might show a Washington, DC area code. But is it really the government calling?
No. The government doesn’t call people out of the blue with threats or promises of money. Caller IDs can be faked, so if you’re not sure, contact the agency at a phone number you know to be true (not the one they called you from).
Constable Ted Heap provides the following tips to help you avoid these scams:
1. Be aware that the government will never contact you by email or phone asking for your personal information or money.
2. Do not click on any links or attachments in emails, text messages, or social media messages that appear to be from a government agency.
3. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a government agency, hang up and contact the agency directly.
4. If you're asked to make a payment to a government agency, verify the payment details separately with the agency, rather than rely on information provided by the person who contacted you.
5. Never give out your personal or financial information over the phone, via email, or on the internet. If you receive a request for this type of information, it's likely to be a scam.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from government impersonator scams. #constabletedheap #yourconstable
Connect with Precinct 5 here:
Facebook: Ted Heap, Harris County Constable Precinct 5