Scammers sometimes pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money. They might promise lottery winnings if you pay “taxes” or other fees, or they might threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit if you don’t pay a supposed debt. Regardless of their tactics, their goal is the same: to get you to send them money. Do not fall victim to this type of scam. Federal government agencies and federal employees will never ask people to send money for prizes or unpaid loans. They are also not permitted to ask you to wire money or add money to a prepaid debit card to pay for outstanding balances.
Here are a few key indicators or red flags to watch for:
- You’ve “won” a lottery or sweepstakes – Someone claiming to be a government official calls, telling you that you’ve won a federally supervised lottery or sweepstakes.
- You owe a fake debt – You might get a call or an official-looking letter that has your correct name, address, and Social Security number. Often, fake debt collectors say they’re with a law firm or a government agency — for example, the FTC, the IRS, or a sheriff’s office. Then, they threaten to arrest you or take you to court if you don’t pay a debt that you supposedly owe.
Here are five ways to beat a Government Imposter Scam:
- Never wire money to a “government official”.
- Never pay to redeem a prize.
- Never give the caller your financial or other personal information.
- Don’t trust a name or number – these can be spoofed to look like it’s coming from an official agency.
- Put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Register your phone number at donotcall.gov.
If you’re ever in doubt that you’re receiving a fraudulent call, immediately hang up. Contact an Eastex Credit Union representative for more questions, comments, or concerns. Remember, Eastex Credit Union will never text you or call you to request a wire transfer or to obtain a prepaid debit card.