Fraudsters Steal from Elderly Victims Pretending to be DOJ Investigators
The US Department of Justice Office of Justice (DOJ) Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) issued an alert warning of a new DOJ imposter scam. Fraudsters are targeting elderly people to steal personally identifiable information (PII) by posing as DOJ staff.
In the DOJ impersonation scam fraudsters call elderly people an impersonate Department of Justice investigators or employees. If someone answers the phone the scammer tries to fool the victim into giving them personal information that will be used to steal from the victim.
If no one answers the phone this camera leaves a voicemail with a return phone number. If the target returns the phone call they are lead through a phone tree that sounds similar to the DOJ main phone number voice menu. Eventually, the target will be transferred to a live operator who impersonates a DOJ investigator.
“Phone scams are an ugly and pervasive act of victimization. The scams being reported to our National Elder Fraud Hotline are especially heinous because they show the perpetrators are preying upon one of the most vulnerable segments of our society – the elderly,” said OVC Director Jessica Hart
Either scam call scenario results in attempts to trick the elderly victim into giving the scammer their personal information so it can be used as part as scam. The goal of the scam is to steal money from the unsuspecting victim.
Scammers use the internet and cheap software to make calls from anywhere in the world. They can easily spoof your caller ID to make the incoming call appear legitimate.
The DOJ has established the National Elder Fraud Hotline to receive complaints about schemes targeting people over the age of 60. For learn about the hotline, please visit https://stopelderfraud.ovc.ojp.gov/.
“As if this were not despicable enough, the scammers do so (by) posing as employees of the Justice Department, usurping public trust in the agency that serves as a bastion of fairness and lawfulness while these scams exploit the elderly for financial gain. The first step to identifying these criminals is to have their crimes reported.”
The DOJ reminds the public to remain vigilant for this and other imposter scams.
What do I do if I receive a scam phone call?
Reporting theft within the first 72 hours of the scam can increase the odds of recovering stolen money or property.
- Report telephone scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website – click here. You can also call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) to report a scam to the FTC.
- Report fraud to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/report-fraud.
DOJ Press Release Number: 20-885