Scammers Are Impersonating Federal Employees to Request Money Transfers, CISA Warns


June 13, 2024

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Scammers Are Impersonating Federal Employees to Request Money Transfers, CISA Warns

Phone scammers are impersonating the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) requesting cash, cryptocurrency, or gift cards, the fed said in a notice.

America’s cyber defense watchdog says it is “aware” of recent impersonation schemes demanding cash payments or other types of fraudulent transactions.

Impersonation scams on the rise

“Impersonation scams are on the rise and often use the names and titles of government employees,” reads the notice.

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is aware of recent impersonation scammers claiming to represent the agency. As a reminder, CISA staff will never contact you with a request to wire money, cash, cryptocurrency, or use gift cards and will never instruct you to keep the discussion secret,” according to the memo.

If you suspect you are a target of an impersonation scammer claiming to represent the agency, CISA urges you to not give into the caller’s demands for any form of payment or cooperation. Also, take note of the phone number calling you, and validate the contact by calling CISA directly at the number provided in the notice. If you have any reason to believe it’s a sham, hang up immediately and contact law enforcement.

Americans lost over a billion dollars to scammers impersonating businesses or government agencies last year, the Federal Trade Commission said in April.

Reported losses to impersonation scams topped $1.1 billion, more than three times what consumers reported in 2020.

Most reports involved copycat account security alerts, phony subscription renewals, fake giveaways, discounts, or money to claim, bogus problems with the law, and made-up package delivery problems.

Protect yourself

According to the Bitdefender 2024 Consumer Cybersecurity Assessment Report, few people consider themselves an actual target for cybercriminals. Scams run rampant worldwide yet consumers still engage in complacent cybersecurity practices, making it imperative to employ dedicated security on our personal devices.

Fraudsters typically use data stolen in breaches to build convincing scams to bait the public.

Anyone affected by a data breach should consider a data monitoring service. Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection lets you find out if your data has leaked online, what type of information was compromised, what risks you face, and whether your information is up for sale on the dark web.

Scamio combats cyber-scams leveraging personal information stolen in data breaches. If you're suspicious about a certain phone call, email, or SMS, simply describe the situation to our clever chatbot and let it guide you to safety. You can share with Scamio the exact thing you want to check: a screenshot, PDF, QR code, or link. Scamio lets you know in seconds if it’s a scam. Use it anywhere via web browser, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp. Share Scamio with your friends and family abroad in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania, Australia, and the UK.

And don’t forget the powerful Scam Alert features in Bitdefender Mobile Security. Scam Alert for iOS includes two layers of protection that monitor scams delivered through SMS/MMS messages and calendar invites. On Android, we warn users when we detect link-based mobile attacks delivered through SMS and popular messaging apps (Discord, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp), or various notifications.




Filip has 15 years of experience in technology journalism. In recent years, he has turned his focus to cybersecurity in his role as Information Security Analyst at Bitdefender.

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