AG Nessel issues consumer alert on active spoofing scam targeting Michigan residents
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today issued a consumer alert to advise Michigan residents of an illegal robocall scam where the callers are representing themselves as employees of the Office for Victims of Crime federal agency. The scam artists are using spoofing technology, which allows them to appear as a local caller in an attempt to steal personal information, including Social Security Numbers, from Michigan residents.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the federal agency that administers the Crime Victims Fund, has received multiple reports that its name is being used as part of an imposter scam targeting individuals throughout the country.
Be alert for calls from anyone representing themselves as an OVC employee or being from the “OVC Fraud Prevention Unit.” The OVC has no such unit.
These scammers are calling from local numbers and may suggest your social security number has been compromised and even provide a “case number,” but it is a fraud. Do not give them any of your personal information — and do not send them money.
If you receive one of these calls, report it to the OVC Resource Center at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at 800-851-3420. You may also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team at the contact information below or with the Federal Trade Commission online or by calling 877-382-4357.
Contact from the government gets your attention. Criminals use legitimate government references and the threat of government action to trick individuals in to taking action that facilitates theft. The initial communication could come in any form–letter, phone call, email, or text message. No matter the form, the goal is the same: to get personal or business information and steal money.
If you receive a text or email from any source claiming to come from a government agency or employee with an attachment or link asking you to open it or click on it, do not do it until you verify it is authentic.
If anyone calls you and asks you to pay with a cash-to-cash money transfer, like MoneyGram or Western Union; or with a PIN from a cash reload card like MoneyPak or Vanilla Road; or with a remotely created payment order using your bank account and routing numbers, they are a fraud and it is a scam. Hang up. It is illegal for any telemarketer to accept any of those forms of payments.
If you receive suspicious contact from someone claiming to be from state or local government, report the contact to the actual agency using contact information you know is accurate. The official State of Michigan website provides reliable contact information for State government.
If you have a general consumer complaint, you may file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team.