Scammers Target Federal Workers


The end of the government shutdown doesn’t put federal employees out of danger of being scammed by robo-callers and phishing emails.  Phony offers of low-interest loans and work-at-home schemes had been targeting furloughed workers during the shutdown.  Now those scammers will want to get at the back-pay coming to those same workers.

Robocalls are pouring into the mailboxes of many people in KELOLAND.

“They’re kind of scary, I mean it’s just that they kind of know what you need and try to get into your personal business,”  Augustana sophomore Madi Lindley said.

That personal business includes getting your social security and credit card numbers and bank account information.

“Robocalls are out of control.  We all know that they are,”  Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.

And federal employees, left on shaky financial footing because of the shutdown, can be caught in the robocall crossfire.

“It’s not that difficult to find a federal employee if you’re robo-calling and you have an auto-dialer full of millions of phone numbers,” Schmidt said.

With the government shutdown coming to a temporary end, scammers will target federal workers, awaiting their backpay, by tricking them into giving up their personal information.

“They’re going to call you and say hey, we’re going to send you, you’re going to get that final check our that special reimbursement, give us the information for your checking account and we’ll direct deposit that for you,

For Jessie Schmidt, taking on the post-shutdown scammers isn’t just her profession, it’s personal.  Her husband was one of the federal workers who were furloughed!

“I feel I’m on alert and my family’s on alert about what to answer and what not to answer.  But that’s because we’re in the know and I live it every single day.  But those that don’t they’re ripe to be taken advantage of” Schmidt said.

Schmidt says one of the biggest red flags is getting an unsolicited call from a bank you’ve never done business with before.

Other shutdown related scams to watch for:

Scammers involved in fake fundraisers for furloughed federal employees will ask for your personal information in order for you to receive donations that will never come.

Scammers claiming to provide unemployment benefits will also ask for your personal information.

Work-from-home offers that require a payment from you are always a scam.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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