While the U.S. waits to see when the government shutdown will end, scammers are hustling to take advantage of the situation. With the FTC’s number complaint assistant down, and no one to write warning blogs for their consumer alerts, scammers are trying to pull a fast one on unsuspecting seniors.
Some Massachusetts banks are reporting fraud calls from customers related to the government shutdown. Seniors are receiving calls about their Medicare direct deposits; the caller threatens to stop payments unless they supply personal bank information for verification. The idea is certainly plausible with the shutdown looming, so many seniors are duped by this phishing fraud.
Many banks across the country have also issued press releases and blogs on loan options during the government shutdown, which could lead to another possible scam opportunity. Beware of callers offering loans or grants in exchange for personal information; if you didn’t request info from your bank, hang up and report the number.
Remember, scammers prey on people’s vulnerabilities to steal from them, and worry over future payments is certainly cause to be alarmed. If something feels wrong, don’t rush into sharing any personal details over the phone. If you have family or friends who rely on government services or payroll, make sure you share this info with them as well. The fewer victims scammers have to prey on, the better.