Friday, June 5, 2015

Attorney General warns of scam calls from false “government officials”

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers Thursday to be aware of calls claiming to be a from a representative of the U.S. Department of the Treasury who says the person owes money.
The recent scam has involved the caller giving a false department or badge number and insisting the matter is “time sensitive.” The person also ends the conversation advising the person to contact an attorney. The scam is similar to IRS scam calls that Morrisey’s office has warned of previously.
Morrisey said that callers can usually identify a false call.
“While scammers often use high pressure sales tactics to force consumers into bad decisions, the U.S. Treasury will never make threats of violence or ask you to pay via pre-paid cards or wire transfer,” Morrisey said in a release. “The role of the U.S. Treasury can be a complicated and confusing issue for many people. Scammers will play on that confusion and prey on vulnerable citizens to swindle them out of their hard-earned money.”
Morrisey said his office wants state residents to know the difference between serious inquiries and criminal activity. He said callers who try this kind of fraud usually use fake names or badge numbers, disguise caller ID and may know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.

Morrisey said it’s common for scammers to disguise themselves as government officials because they know people are likely to panic and make rash decisions.