Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee and Chairman of the Senate Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, is warning of a new phishing email scam involving impersonators claiming to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Aging Committee, and other government agencies, have received complaints about this scam in which someone fraudulently claiming to be with HUD will email potential victims and request that they click on a link to access information on home loan refinancing.
This document, however, could have a virus, malware, or ransomware attached to it and cause serious harm to the victim's computer. It could also leave an individual susceptible to financial loss or identity theft.
“Government impersonation scams like this demonstrate the nuanced manner in which scammers can operate,” said Senator Collins. “I urge the public to show careful consideration of the different methods these criminals will use to steal the money or personal identity of hardworking Americans.”
Never open a document or click on a link in an email if you do not know the sender. If you receive an email from someone claiming to work for a government agency with an email address ending in anything other than “.gov,” it is fraudulent. If you or someone you know receives an email like this, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and report it to the HUD Office of Inspector General’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-347-3735 or to the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.