BBB warns of scammers targeting furloughed government workers

Scam Busters

For the past few days, Allison Klein has collected donations for furloughed government workers. 

“Pantry items and household items such as toiletries, soaps, detergents,” Klein said. “I still have a lot of stuff that I have to pick up.”  

She posted a message on Facebook, asking for donations from her neighbors in East Nashville.  

“I couldn’t imagine missing two paychecks and making ends meet,” Klein said.  

As the government shutdown enters its second month, people like Klein and others have been stepping up to help.  

But the Better Business Bureau says there’s also another group of people reaching out to furloughed workers–scammers.  

“Scammers prey on those who are in need, who are suffering,” said Robyn Householder, CEO, and President of the BBB serving middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.  

The BBB says furloughed workers have become the new target of at least four different scams. One of those scams involves bogus robocalls which ask for private information.  

“They’re saying that your government benefits are going to stop unless they get updated information from you,” Householder said.  

There’s also the phony lender scam.  

“You’ve been pre-approved for a loan or a grant because you are a furloughed worker and then they start asking you for private information,” said the CEO.  

Householder says employment and fundraising scams have also been on the rise since the shutdown.  

“When you work for the government, your information is public knowledge, so they know who to call,” she said. “They know who to prey on.” 

Householder says if you get one of these calls, hang up.  

“The government will not call you to get private information,” she said. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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