Justice Department warns of scammers posing as agency staff

BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is urging seniors to be cautious of a phone scam in which impostors claim to be department investigators in order to obtain people's personal information.

Federal prosecutors in Boston announced Friday that the Justice Department has received reports about the scam. Impostors claiming to be agency investigators have been calling people and asking for their information, prosecutors said, or they leave a message with a return number that has a recorded menu matching the department's primary number. Eventually they are connected to someone claiming to be an agency investigator or employee.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said the scam has targeted seniors at a time when many are isolated at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. “This scam is especially obnoxious because the perpetrators pose as employees of the Justice Department, and so manipulate the public’s trust in the Department,” Lelling said in a statement.

The department is urging the public not to provide any personal information if they receive a similar call and to report it to authorities.

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