Attorney General Todd Rokita is warning Hoosiers to be alert to government imposter scams, which continue to be reported in communities across Indiana.
“Fraudsters are posing as government officials in order to induce fear in unsuspecting victims,” Attorney General Rokita said. “My administration has revolutionized our investigation process to bring these con artists to justice. At the same time, we want to help Hoosiers exercise due diligence to avoid falling prey to these schemes in the first place.”
The scammers’ goal is to steal personal information and money. Awareness of their tactics is a key to protecting such assets. A recently reported complaint alleges a mail solicitation requested homeowners send money to receive a copy of their deed. The solicitation includes publicly available information about the owned property.
A government imposter scam frequently starts with an unsolicited text, call, mailing or fax from someone purporting to be from a government agency. Scammers often rely on publicly available information and provide what initially appear to be official documents or employee ID numbers to project an image of credibility.
Whether it’s through the regular mail, email or omnipresent smart phones, scammers have ready access to the tools they need to try to separate Hoosiers from their hard-earned money.
Pay close attention to any material you receive purported to be from government agencies. Does the seal or name seem suspicious in any way? Does the mailing address appear legitimate — or is it a P.O. Box or an address for a third-party mailing company? What product or service exactly is being provided? Is there a disclaimer?
Attorney General Rokita offers the following tips to avoid scams:
- Be wary and closely examine a solicitation that seems to be coming from a government entity but is soliciting a product or service to obtain government records.
- Be leery of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency. For example, the IRS does not accept iTunes gift cards.
- Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately terminate the communication, and do not provide any personal information or money.
- Contact our Consumer Protection Division at 1-888-834-9969 or visit our website.
“Consumer protection remains one of my top priorities,” Attorney General Rokita said. “I hope all Hoosiers will contact my office any time we can provide assistance. My staff and I are truly eager to help.”