NYS DIVISION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION ALERTS CONSUMERS TO PHONE SCAMMERS SPOOFING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is alerting consumers of an increase in phone scammers purporting to be from official state agencies attempting to steal personal information from unsuspecting victims.
Similar to a Social Security scam detailed in June, in these cases the caller “spoofs” official phone numbers of state agencies and calls individuals seeking information that could be used to steal identities. Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to a caller ID display to disguise their identity, according to the Federal Communications Commission. In actuality, the call could be coming from anywhere in the world.
Recently, several individuals have received phone calls from what appears to be a primary phone number for the New York State Offices of the Inspector General (212-635-3150). The Inspector General’s Office is working with Law Enforcement to investigate the matter. The Offices of the Inspector General advises that it does NOT make calls from this number. Anyone who receives a call from 212-635-3150 should disregard the call.
“As we see too often, scam artists are pretending to be from official state agencies in an attempt to gain personal information from unsuspecting New Yorkers” said New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection. “Government agencies do not typically call people with little or no warning asking for sensitive information or trying to get a payment over the phone. If it seems suspicious, it probably is. Look for the warning signs and verify the caller before engaging.”
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection and the Federal Communications Commission warn consumers to be suspicious of any unsolicited calls purporting to be from a state agency, such as the Inspector General, and to take note of the following tips:
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection investigates Do Not Call violations and provides voluntary mediation between a consumer and a business when a consumer has been unsuccessful at reaching a resolution on their own. The Consumer Assistance Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State Holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.