The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a federal agency created in 2018 that works with both the public and private sectors to build and maintain our nation’s infrastructure and protect it from cyberattacks.  CISA recently issued a warning to the public to be aware of scammers calling people on the phone posing as a CISA employee who indicates to the person receiving the call that he or she had committed improper computer activities.  The caller then demands the payment of money in order to resolve the accusations.  This is just the latest incarnation of the infamous impostor scam where victims are called by people who falsely represent that they are with various governmental agencies such as the IRS or the Social Security Administration (SSA) and demand payment for imaginary infractions or request information under some false pretense.  Due to the ease of spoofing, by which the scammer is able to manipulate your Caller ID to make it read as if the call really is coming from a legitimate source, this scam is readily perpetrated and, unfortunately, has proven to be a successful scam tactic.

TIPS

In regard to this particular version of the impostor scam, CISA is recommending people not to respond or try to contact the caller if they leave a message.  They also urge people not to pay anything to the caller.  Finally, they urge people to report the scam to their local FBI field office.  Here is a link to where you can find information about how to contact your local FBI field office.  https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/field-offices

In regard to the impostor scam in general, it is important to remember that you can never be sure when you are contacted by phone, text message or email as to who is really contacting you.  Therefore you should never give personal information to the person contacting you nor should you make any payment in response to the communication.  It is also important to remember that neither the IRS nor the SSA will ever initiate contact with you by phone, text message or email.  They will only contact you initially by regular mail.  If you do get a call that you think might be legitimate from any governmental agency or business, you should merely contact that agency or business directly through your phone or your computer to confirm whether or not the original contact was a scam.

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