Government Imposter An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. Scams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. on the Rise
Courtesy of the United States Army Criminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. Investigation Command (CID)
by Ronna Weyland, Army CID, Quantico, Virginia, United States
Adapted by SCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims.
Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command warns that government impersonator scams are on the rise and is asking the Army community and American public to help the Army maintain its readiness by reporting any and all scams or suspicious activity believed to be a possible scam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost..
Scammers count on everyday distractions, especially during the holiday season, to prey on unsuspecting people. This time of year scammers are getting creative and finding more opportunities for creating fake offers and phony fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements.
A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. alerts by using the reputation of official government officials or agencies. The scammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. impersonates a trusted source or vendor to send convincing and malicious emails to individuals in the hopes of gathering personal and financial information.
The scammers will make contact via phone or email and will claim to be affiliated with the government. Criminals are using alert type, pre-recorded messages about compromised social security numbers or how to claim unissued COVID-19 relief checks; tricking recipients into giving up protected information.
“No government agency will send you an unsolicited email or phone call asking for personal information,” said Edward LaBarge, director of CID’s Major Cybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Unit. “For the most part, if a government agency is looking to get ahold of you, they will send a letter via the U.S. Postal System on official letterhead.”
Fraudulent “collection agency” or police department calls are also being used by scammers to threaten jail time or legal action if payment or personal information is not provided immediately.
“For someone that lost their job as a result of the pandemic, keeping the lights on is a higher priority than cybersecurity and because of that vulnerability, one may be more apt to fall victim to an unemployment or other type of benefits scam,” said LaBarge.
According to CID officials, many individuals think they can easily detect a scam because they are a government employee, Soldier, contractor, or family member of one of the three. However, this is not always the case.
“No one is immune to becoming a victim of an online scam, it can happen to anyone,” said LaBarge. “When it comes to being a victim, it really comes down to psychology. Cybercriminals thrive during stressful world events such as the pandemic and play on people’s fears, stress, anxiety and vulnerabilities.”
TYPES OF GOVERNMENT IMPERSONATOR SCAMS
Below are scams you may encounter. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive.
Scammers claim to be affiliated with the government, such as law enforcement or a U.S. attorney. The scammer will say you owe a debt, and you must pay immediately otherwise you will face criminal charges and arrest. The scammer explains you can pay the debt by wiring or loading money to gift cards.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs.
Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more.)
A phony IRS representative contacts you and says you owe a tax debt. If you do not pay immediately, you will be arrested. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided scammers with another avenue to trick victims. Faux IRS representatives claim they can expedite economic impact payments, once you provide your personal information or pay a fee.
The scammer claims to be a government representative from the Social Security Administration and your Social Security number (SSN) has been compromised. The scammer might tell you that your SSN has been associated with a crime or someone has used your SSN to apply for credit cards. The scammer will want to “verify” your SSN and will need money to reactivate or reissue your SSN.
A scammer poses as a military service member of any rank or branch. They may even pose as you, targeting your friends and family. Scammers will communicate by social media or messaging applications Applications or Apps
An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc.
Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free.
Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware.
Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing.; for example, the scammer says they are deployed to a combat zone or in a remote area of the world on a dangerous “secret” mission. The scammer pleads for financial help, claiming they need the money to come home, pay for food, or necessary medical care. The scammer tells their victims they can send much-needed help via gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency.
Government Impersonator Scam In Government Impersonator Scam, Scammers often disguise themselves as people working for the government and might pretend to offer help. But, are really after your money or personal information. Real government agencies will never call without prior written contact. Warning Signs
- You receive an unsolicited call, email, or text saying you owe a debt, overpaid a bill, or your personal information has been compromised.
- Scammers demand immediate payment via gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency.
- Scammers threaten action by law enforcement if you do not pay immediately.
- Scammers threaten to revoke benefits, block Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• your SSN, or confiscate official documents such as your driver’s license or passport.
To reduce your vulnerability, keep the following in mind:
- If a government agency needs to contact you, you will receive official correspondence in the U.S. mail.
- Do not trust caller ID – phone numbers can be spoofed just as simply as email addresses.
- A government agency will never demand the payment of a debt via gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency.
- Do not give or confirm your Personally Identifiable Information, banking, or credit card information to anyone who contacts you.
- Make sure your family and friends know that the U.S. military does not charge its service members to come home, eat, or receive medical care.
Government Impersonator Scam Victim Reporting
- If you provided personal or bank information, contact your bank and any relevant financial institutions as soon as possible.
- Notify local law enforcement.
- Report it to commercial, state, and federal agencies.
- The Better Business Bureau
- The Federal Trade Commission
- The FBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud.’s Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3.gov
- State Consumer Protection Offices
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service
- SCARS|CDN Cybercrime Data Network at www.Anyscam.com
For Army Personnel
Army personnel or their families who are victims of an Internet-based crime should report the crime to their local CID office. Individuals can also report crime tips to CID anonymously via a specialized application at https://www.cid.army.mil/report-a-crime.html.
To Learn More
For additional information please visit: https://cyber.mil or https://public.cyber.mil
For more information about computer security, other computer-related scams, and to review previous cybercrime alert notices and cyber-crime prevention flyers visit the Army CID MCU website at https://www.cid.army.mil/mcu-advisories.html. To report a crime to Army CID, visit www.cid.army.mil.