DOJ warns of ‘imposter scam’ targeting the elderly

Consumer Alerts

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Scammers claiming to be with the Department of Justice are targeting the elderly in our community.

According to the Department of Justice, they have received multiple reports that people claiming to represent the DOJ are calling residents as part of an “imposter scam”.

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook strongly encourages everyone to remain vigilant and not to provide personal information during these calls, which appear to target the elderly.

Reports to the National Elder Fraud Hotline indicate that scammers:

  • Falsely represent themselves as DOJ investigators or employees and attempt to obtain personal information or they leave a voicemail with a return phone number.
  • The return phone number directs users to a recorded menu that matches the recorded menu for the Department’s main phone number.
  • Eventually, the user reaches an “operator” who steers the user to someone claiming to be an investigator.
  • That “investigator” then attempts to gain the user’s personal information.

Director of the Office for Victims of Crime Jessica Hart said, “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.”

Hart added, “As if this were not despicable enough, the scammers do so 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.”

If you receive one of these calls you are encouraged not to provide personal information
and to report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through their website or
by calling (877) 382-4357.

Fraud can also be reported to the FBI for law enforcement action at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/report-fraud.

The National Elder Fraud Hotline is a resource created by OVC for people to report
fraud against anyone age 60 or older.

Reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible, and within the first 2-3 days, can increase the likelihood of recovering losses.

The hotline is open 7 days a week. For more information about the hotline, please
visit: https://stopelderfraud.ovc.ojp.gov/.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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