As if the data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) wasn’t bad enough, now people are receiving telephone calls from someone saying he is with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offering money to the 21.5 million people affected by the data breach. All he needs is some personal information. Of course, the call is a scam and if you provide the personal information to the caller, all you will end up doing is becoming a victim of identity theft. Even if the call appears on your Caller ID as coming from the FTC, you cannot trust it because through a technique called “spoofing” a telephone call can be made to appear on Caller ID as if it is coming from the FTC when, in truth, it is coming from a scammer.
One of the phony names being used in these scam phone calls is Dave Johnson of the FTC office in Las Vegas. However, not only is there no Dave Johnson at the FTC office in Las Vegas, there is no FTC office in Las Vegas. In any event, never give personal information over the phone to anyone whom you have not called because you can never be sure if the call is legitimate. If you think the call might be legitimate, you can call back the FTC or whatever real agency or company the caller says he or she is from to confirm whether the call was legitimate. Finally, it is important to note that neither the FTC nor the OPM is paying anything at this time to the victims of the data breach.