The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has posted a warning on its Retirement Information Center website about a new phone scam targeting federal annuitants.
Be on the alert for an aggressive phone scam that targets federal annuitants. The scammer claims to be an OPM employee and threatens to end the annuitant’s retirement, threatens the annuitant with criminal prosecution by a “magistrate” and demands an immediate payment. This is a government imposter scam – Do not send money!
Any communication of this type is NOT from an OPM official. OPM will not make such calls. These types of scams are carried out by skilled imposters who may sound convincing. They may use real names and titles – and they may know a lot about their targets, including personally identifiable information. The scammers may alter the caller ID to make it look as though OPM is calling. Scammers also may attempt to use email to “phish” for more information. Finally, these imposters may leave an “urgent” call-back request. Don’t fall for it.
SIGNS OF A SCAM
During a SCAM phone call, the caller will:
- Demand immediate payment
- Demand that you pay a debt first before any appeal
- Request that you pay using gift cards, prepaid debit or credit cards, wire transfers, Western Union, MoneyGram or PayPal, etc.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or by email
- Threaten referral to a magistrate, the police or other law enforcement
Remember, OPM will NEVER make such phone calls.
WHAT CAN I DO?
If you suspect the caller is an imposter:
- Do not engage with the callers. Simply hang up.
- Note the date and time of the call, as well as the caller’s phone number.
- Report it to OPM’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at https://www.opm.gov/our-inspector-general/
For help and to report suspected fraud:
- Call the OIG Hotline: 877-499-7295
- Click to report online, Hotline Complaint Form
- Write to: OPM OIG, 1900 E Street NW, Room 6400, Washington, DC 20415-1100
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a report on government imposter scams, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0048-government-imposter-scams. You also may report suspected fraud to the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/