FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 4, 2013) — As Kentucky is well into the season of charitable giving and holiday spending, Treasurer Todd Hollenbach is cautioning Kentuckians to be vigilant with whom they entrust their personal information, even those claiming to be from government agencies.
“Many of us have heard the stories of fake charities who con money by preying on generous folks willing to help those in need,” said Hollenbach. “But worse yet are the con-artists who promise to give money to those in most need this time of year. Some are posing as government officials to ascertain personal information, which allows the scammer to commit identity theft or, more devastatingly, wipe out a person’s bank account.
Hollenbach’s office was recently contacted by a constituent looking to verify a call they received from a person claiming to be from the U.S. Treasury. The constituent received a call from someone identifying himself as an employee of the U.S. Treasury. The imposter informed the individual that he had received a U.S. government grant and provided him with a confirmation number. The caller asked him to call a 202 area code telephone number with the confirmation number in order to receive the grant. He claimed that after the confirmation number was provided, the U.S. Treasury would deposit $8,400 to the bank account that same day. The imposter then asked for his bank account routing number to expedite the transfer.
“The constituent did the right thing. He contacted my office. I spoke with the U.S. Treasury and found that this has been happening all across the country,” said Hollenbach. “This time of year, when families are struggling to provide for their holiday gifts and still pay bills, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of unexpected money and forget to be vigilant. But let me be clear, the U.S. Treasury has no such program. Never give personal information or banking information over the phone without first confirming with whom you are speaking. And if anyone receives any call of this kind, it should be reported immediate.”
According to Hollenbach and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, any caller claiming to be from the United States Treasury Department and requesting personal financial or other information is very likely bogus. Provide no information, ask for a number to call back, and then notify the Treasury Office of Inspector General Hotline at 800-359-3898, or [email protected].
For questions and concerns involving suspicious persons identifying themselves as Kentucky State Treasury representatives, contact Kentucky State Treasury at 502-564-5722, or select “Contact Us” at KyTreasury .com.