Heads up, Crime Stoppers! The Department of Justice has received reports that individuals claiming to represent the Department of Justice are calling members of the public as part of an imposter scam.

According to a news report from WWLP/News 22 in Springfield, the Justice Department strongly encourages the public 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 these scammers falsely represent themselves as Department of Justice investigators or employees and attempt to obtain personal information from the call recipient, 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.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling had this to say, "Especially with so much of the elderly population isolated at home by COVID, phone scams are an intrusive, calculated effort to target the vulnerable....Anyone who receives a potentially fraudulent call as part of this scam should report it immediately."

If you or someone you know receives one of these calls, please report it immediately. You can do so by visiting the FTC's website here. You can also call 877–FTC–HELP (877-382-4357).

For more on the story, read all about it at WWLP's website here.

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