Impostor scams have long been among the most lucrative for scammers. While there are many variations of this scam, the most common variations have involved scammers calling their intended victims on the telephone posing as some governmental agency such as the IRS or the Social Security Administration. The scammer then, under a wide variety of pretenses, demands an immediate payment by gift cards, credit card or wired funds. Being asked to pay by gift cards is a definite indication that the call is a scam since no governmental agency requests or accepts payments by gift cards. Alternatively, the scammer demands the victim supply the phony governmental agent with personal information such as your Social Security number which will then be used for identity theft purposes.
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned people to be wary of emails that are being sent that appear to come from Joseph Simons, the Chairman of the FTC in which you are told that the fTC has relief funds for you related to the Coronavirus pandemic. You are asked to provide personal informaiton such as your birth date, home address or Social Security number that the criminal posing as Chairman Simons will use to make you a victim of identity theft.
Here is a copy of a recent email purporting to be from FTC Chairman Simons:
As I have often reminded you, through the simple technique of “spoofing” it is very easy for a scammer to manipulate your Caller ID to make a call coming to you appear legitimate when it is not. Therefore you can never truly trust your Caller ID. Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Never provide personal information to anyone who calls you unless you have absolutely confirmed that it is legitimate. In regard to the scam emails that appear to come from the FTC chairman, it is important to remember that the FTC will never send you an email asking for personal information such as your bank account, credit card number or Social Security number. The FTC also won’t ask you for your birth date or cell phone number and they will never contact you by phone, email, text message or letter asking you to pay for anything.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”