A Copy of an Email Sent by Darlene Hutchinson, OVC Director, on November 13, 2019
Hello State VOCA Administrators (compensation & assistance),
As some of you may know, OVC has received many reports that OVC’s name is being used as part of an imposter scam. Additionally, we’ve recently learned that 2 or 3 State VOCA Administrators have received similar calls/complaints from local residents and, in some instances, the fraudsters are using the SAA agency’s name as well.
The scammers falsely represent themselves as OVC (or other government employees) and attempt to obtain personal information from the person being called, such as a social security number, or they will ask for money (suggesting the person’s social security number “has been compromised”).
Last Friday, we posted an alert on the OVC website, sent an e-blast to our subscribers, and posted info on social media to inform the public of the scam. We wanted to ensure there was information on our website in case citizens did any research to confirm the calls were fraudulent (and many have done so and subsequently updated OVC with the schemes presented to them). If your agency is receiving similar inquiries from residents in your state who’ve been called by these scammers, and you are interested in sharing a similar message, below are a few actions you might consider—
- Post an alert to your website’s front page and “contact us” page (and social media possibly).
- Send an e-blast to your contacts; feel free to use OVC’s language and adjust as you wish.
- Encourage citizens to report the scam to local police and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by calling 877–FTC–HELP (877–382–4357).
- Develop a script with these action items that your personnel can use if citizens contact your office inquiring about a possible fraudulent call they’ve received.
Also, please let OVC know if you receive any calls regarding the scam, as we are tracking the numbers and the various schemes the scammers are using (emails to [email protected] is the best way for us to collect this info). We appreciate your assistance in spreading awareness about this scam.
Darlene Hutchinson, Director
Office for Victims of Crime
US DOJ Office of Justice Programs