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It’s NOT the FTC calling about the OPM breach

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If you’re an OPM data breach victim, you probably know to look out for identity theft. But what about imposter scams? In the latest twist, imposters are pretending to be the FTC offering money to OPM data breach victims.

Here’s how it works: A man calls and says he’s from the FTC and has money for you because you were an OPM data breach victim. All you need to do is give him some information.

Stop. Don’t tell him anything. He’s not from the FTC.

One fake name the caller used was Dave Johnson, with the FTC in Las Vegas, Nevada. There’s not even an FTC office in Las Vegas. The FTC won’t be calling to ask for your personal information. We won’t be giving money to OPM data breach victims either.

That’s just one example of the type of scam you might see. You may get a different call or email. Here are some tips for recognizing and preventing government imposter scams and other phishing scams

  • Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated the call and it’s to a phone number you know to be correct. Never provide financial information by email. 
  • Don’t wire money. The government won’t ask you to wire money or put it on a prepaid debit card. Also, the government won’t ask you to pay money to claim a grant, prize or refund.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof their numbers so it looks like they are calling from a government agency, even when they are not. Federal agencies will not call to tell you they are giving you money. 

If you’ve received a call or email that you think is fake, report it to the FTC. If it’s an email that relates to the OPM breach, you also can forward it to US-CERT at phishing-report@us-cert.gov. If you gave your personal information to an imposter, it’s time to change those compromised passwords, account numbers or security questions.

Concerned about identity theft? Visit IdentityTheft.gov. For more information about the OPM breach, visit OPM’s website.

Comments

I so agree with "they got me." If OPM has contracted with CSID, and I've already entered my PIN and last four, then CSID should already have all the info they need. I got misinformation from the CSID staff with whom I talked ("Oh, no one knows the service is only for three years -- only you know because I told you" -- it's on the OPM site). No one could answer my question re: how "restoration of identity" is legally or contractually defined (and CSID referred me to the OPM site, which has no such info). The Terms and Conditions explicitly state that CSID and their employees are not liable for any loss I suffer due to their negligence or breach of contract. Why has OPM selected this service? Why would OPM assume that three years of coverage is enough when fingerprint technology is still developing? Why would we not be offered new SSNs as "they got me" has suggested? I am deeply disappointed in OPM's response to this security breach that potentially puts me at risk for the rest of my life and not just for the next three years.

I feel "mistrustful" and "they got me" have some valid concerns. When I tried to register with ID Experts by phone they told me my Pin Number issued to me by letter by the OPM was invalid, that the OPM was the source of the problem, and that the OPM should have some info on its site withing 2 weeks and that I should try again then, or, if nothing was posted by OPM, call ID Experts again. I'm beginning to feel mistrustful of OPM and ID Experts at this point, too. I also felt very uncomfortable giving address, full SS number, etc. to ID Experts. Would someone at OPM verify that it is ok for ID Experts to be asking for this info.

My greatest fear is identity theft. Now this can impact my entire life and it won't end in 3 years. I agree with mistrustful and they got me. We need new SSNs.

I got most of the way in the process for "MyID Care Identity registration, before reading the privacy and Terms and Conditions, once i read them I decided not to press the submit button. When I tried to delete or erase the information it would not let me. Now I don't know if the registration went through anyway, with or without my consent!

I too received a letter from OPM, went to web site and entered my pin and last 4 SSN digits. Then they send me to a web site that requests the very information that I was told was hacked. This is the stupidest idea yet. We have no faith in gov't protecting our private information and now they tell us to share it with another group. Who comes up with these ridiculous ideas? My credit card was hacked twice in the last month and once last year. I don't even use credit cards at the gas pumps anymore. What's wrong with this country?

I received a letter last week from OPM stating that my identity might have been compromised in a security breach. I do not work for the goverment; however, at one point I did apply for a background check at a Veterans Hospital because I needed to do my clinical rotations there, then after I also applied to the same hospital for employment. I was never hired but all my info was entered. So is this letter from OPM with the PIN number true? It states that they will monitor my and my minor children credit for 3 years through ID Experts, can anyone tell me if this is scam or is a true letter, thank you.

Go to opm.gov for the most current information. You'll find copies of the letters that OPM sent and answers to frequently asked questions on that site.

Thank you, yes I went into the OPM website and one of the sample letters looks just like the one they sent me so then that means the letter is legit?

I am a victim of identity theft that occurred after I signed up for my OPM "credit monitoring" due to my notice of personal information breach.The thief has taken everything they had access to my email account and all banking and credit information. I have a police report and complaint filled with FTC. When I check my "SO CALLED" credit monitor shows no alerts at all. Even though all the account information I have listed on my account is all HOT now since the theft. They can not help me because there are no alerts on my account. What good is this system if it does not work as what I thought it should. I feel even more exposed now. VERY DISAPPOINTED with OPM and the lack of support I'm getting with trying to get my Identity back!!!!!!!!!!

I received the standard OPM letter to those in the background investigation group. What is strange is that it is in my maiden name which I have not used since 1974! The only federal contact I had up to that point was applying for a summer civil service job in 1969--no background check that I knew about and no fingerprinting. My second husband, never connected with my maiden name, also received an OPM letter for reasons we can't figure out, since he has never sought or obtained federal employment. Has anyone else received a letter in a name they haven't used in more than four decades???

Yes, Linda! I too received the letter addressed to my maiden name. I have been married for 53 years and was married when I worked for the govt. Minor children covered? Mine are all 40 - 50 yrs old! Why is my husband not covered?

Go to opm.gov for the most current information. You'll find answers to many questions there.

For example, the OPM site says that if you were affected by the background investigations record breach, your spouse may have been affected too. Some background investigation forms ask for your spouse's SSN. If your form asked for your spouse's SSN, your spouse will get a notification and will be able to sign up for services.

Linda, thank you for posting that..My letter too came to me with my first name and maiden name and at an address I have moved from. this letter wasn't forwarded through the post office. the new tenant at my old place of residence gave it to the property people to give to me...Its interesting. I did apply for a post office position about a month ago but yeah, this is strange...OPM would have my correct married name by now...considering NOT signing up for this and continuing to monitor my own credit...

What about physical security? I now live with fact the numerous foreign governments, ISIS, and criminals have my PII (including address , DOB, SSN...) Is there a process for reimbursement for security systems , firearms ... ? If Finically harmed , you could recover if one of these jokers comes to your house that a different ballgame.

Any advise?

If you have questions about what is covered by the credit and identity monitoring, identity theft insurance, and identity restoration services you enrolled for, you can contact the company that provides the services.

This might not be the place to inform,but it's the most read post available

what about medical records requests dated June 2015 being hand-walked in by someone looking for info on someone else? I was just handed an e-qip version of a medical release SF-86.

This is ridiculous. My identity may have been breached and I receive an email through your system.

The information you provide on your message is convoluted. Meanwhile you make me jump through hoops and leave the issue unresolved for weeks while I wait to hear back from you. With earlier notifications I was able to confirm data, now this runaround? PLEASE advise. I apologize for the tone of this email, but this is highly disconcerting and I am truly sick of this. I hope my info has not been compromised but I will now have more reasons to lose sleep.

I feel sorry for all involved, especially the retired and elderly that may not understand. Does it make sense to post examples of letters and say legit pins are 25 digits? It seems as though scammers could use this info to their advantage to further scam the innocent....???

read all the posts and looks like we no better off than before!!!!!! typical gov B S !!!!

I keep getting notices from opm.gov/cybersecurity that tells me to check in because there has been activity on my accounts. None of the links "log in" etc do NOT work. I think MY ID is a waste of tax payer dollars and is in itself a scam. Trump - forget about Obama and do something productive. Get a refund from these folks!

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