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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 agency. 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.

Imposter scams come in many forms. However, 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 that 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.
  • 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 mail you a notice through U.S. mail and offer payment options if you owe a debt rather than demand money via email, phone, or text; and
  • Do not ask for or take payment by prepaid gift card, wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or a paid 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 Team:

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

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

Government Agency Examples

  • Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Homeland Security
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Local Police
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Sheriff's Office
  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • State Police
  • State or Federal Courts
  • Treasury Department
  • U.S. Border Patrol
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA)