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Government Imposter Scams

Government Imposter Scams Can Happen to You

Scammers are targeting people through emails, calls, or texts and claiming they are from a government department. The messages may offer grants, special medication rates, requests for updated personal information, or demand money.   

If the message contains a link or attachment, do NOT click the link, or download the attachment. It may contain a virus which will infect your device when it’s opened. The scammer will then be able to access information on your device.   

Scammers know that calls, texts, or emails from a government agency will get you to react, either out of fear or curiosity.  Replying to a spam message or phone call lets a scammer know that your information is active, and they may get a response. 

How do you protect yourself?

  • Block the text, email, or call.
  • Don't click links or open attachments.
  • Report the spam; and 
  • Delete the text or email from your device.

Government Agencies:

  • Will not email, call, or text you unless you first reached out to them by email, phone or text message.   
  • Will not request personal information through email, over the phone, or text.  
  • Do not offer grants or money.
  • Will never demand money through email, over the phone, or text. They will mail you a notice and offer payment options.
  • Do not ask for or take payment by prepaid gift card, wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or a pay app. 

If you get an email, call, or text from someone claiming to be from the government, hang up and do not respond.  Silence is always the best policy.

To report a scam, file a complaint, or get additional information, contact the Consumer Protection Division: 

P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Fax: 517-241-3771
Online complaint form

Department of Commerce in Washington D,C. Black and white photo

Government Agency Examples

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
  • Border Patrol
  • US Census
  • Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Treasury Department
  • State Police
  • Sheriff's Office
  • Local Police
  • Court Official
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Homeland Security