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New Advisory Issued: Beware of Calls From CISA Fraudsters

Fraudsters impersonating government employees.
Ryan Uliss
Contributing Writer
A cell phone hanging on a fish hook - as if baiting someone, with a CISA logo appearing on the phone.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently issued a warning regarding a new wave of phone scams where fraudsters have been impersonating CISA employees. These scammers deceive victims by using the names and titles of legitimate employees to solicit money. The advisory highlights the increasing frequency of reported attacks, the typical warning signs to look out for, and guidelines on how to respond or react if one believes they have been targeted, or have already fallen victim.

This latest warning comes amid a broader trend of impersonation scams targeting Americans. These schemes aim to extract sensitive information or money from unsuspecting victims by blurring the lines between business and government impersonation, making them more challenging to detect. Scammers often use manipulation, such as instilling urgency or fear, to pressure victims into compliance.

CISA urges citizens to remain vigilant and verify the identities of unsolicited contacts in order to avoid falling prey to these deceptive tactics.

Why it matters: In recent years, impersonation scams have become an increasingly significant threat, exploiting the trust people have in government and authoritative figures. The substantial financial losses reported, combined with the psychological toll on victims, highlight the severity of these attacks. Furthermore, with scammers now using the names of real employees from agencies like CISA to take advantage of their reputation and deceive citizens, public education and awareness campaigns have become paramount in empowering citizens to identify and combat these predatory tactics.

  • CISA Advisory Details: CISA has advised that its employees will never request wire transfers, cash, cryptocurrency, or gift cards from individuals, nor will they instruct people to keep discussions confidential. Any attempt by someone claiming to be a CISA employee to solicit such payments or demand secrecy should immediately raise a red flag.
  • Preventive Measures: Individuals are advised to take specific actions if they suspect a scam call. These include not paying the caller, not responding or trying to contact the caller, noting the phone number, and hanging up immediately. CISA also provides a hotline (1-844-SAY-CISA) for verifying the legitimacy of such calls.
  • Impersonation Scam Impact: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reported that impersonation scams resulted in losses exceeding $1.1 billion in 2023, a threefold increase since 2020. This disturbing statistic reiterates how quickly these scams have increased in frequency, and the devastating financial effects they can have.

Go Deeper -> Phone Scammers Impersonating CISA Employees – CISA.gov

CISA Warns of Criminals Impersonating its Employees in Phone Calls – Bleeping Computer

New CISA Phone Scam, Fraudsters Pretend to be Agency Employees – CyberNews

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