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Government agency scams

Government agency scams are one of the biggest cyber security risks faced by most government organisations, where a single email can provide criminals access to your details or infect the device with malware.

How Do Government Agency Scams Happen?

In Government agency scams, criminals send official-looking emails to the target seeking an urgent response. They ask to submit personal & bank details to process an application or a legal action. 

The target gets the impression that it is from a government organisation and has been authorised, but the letter asks you to make a fund transfer or comply with some law for a fee. They may request you to send bank details to claim benefits or avoid legal action. 

The Government impersonation scams involve reputed banks, HMRC, local police, post offices, universities, and many reputed organisations where the fraudster tells victims to pay some penalty, or the message creates an urgency to send bank details. 

For example - Some victims got emails claiming they committed crimes, and the email urged victims to make payment for the crime. 

How To Identify and Avoid A Government Impersonator Scam?

  • No legitimate organisation sends emails that end at @gmail.com. Government organisations have their email domain and email account. Or they use a similar domain name or create an indistinguishable address.

  • The Government Impersonator Scam email looks like a genuine source sent it, but the address may differ from the organisation's free webmail. It may not greet by proper name, just "Dear customers."

  • There may be errors in the message or missed words, grammatical incoherence, or copy-edited content, and the email may be inconsistent with previous emails. It may include suspicious and infected attachments.  

  • The criminals create urgency and request usernames, bank details, passwords, etc. 

If you suspect a Government Impersonator Scam – 

  • Do not open the email, do not forward, do not download the attachment and do not respond to spam emails. 

  • Government agencies won't make fake government calls, send emails, text, or ask for money, personal details, PINs, or passwords.

  • Organisations like banks or HMRC contact you by letter, email or phone but never ask for personal financial information like bank details without writing to you first. 

How To Report It

If Fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud. Raise any concerns; contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

Keywords: Avoid a Government Impersonator Scam, Government agency scams, Government Imposter Scams, fake government calls, Government impersonation scams involve government impersonation scams.

Date Published: Sep 09, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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