AG warns of telemarketing scams.

October 21, 2015
Bill Schuette

Bill Schuette

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today issued a warning regarding telemarketing scams that impersonate government entities to obtain sensitive personal or financial information from consumers. The scams tend to target Michigan seniors and claim to be from the U.S. Department of Treasury, Michigan Department of Treasury or the Internal Revenue Service. Schuette’s Consumer Protection Team advises consumers that neither the State of Michigan nor the federal government will ever contact them via phone to confirm or request personal information.

“Con artists behind these types of phone scams find ways to take advantage of people’s trust,” said Schuette. “We will not tolerate scammers impersonating legitimate companies or government entities at the expense of families and businesses across Michigan. I encourage consumers everywhere to educate themselves in order to avoid becoming a victim of a telemarketing scam.”

Recent telemarketing scam complaints filed by Michigan consumers include a request for bank account or credit card information from an individual claiming to be with the U.S. Department of Treasury. In exchange for the consumers personal financial information, the caller offered a $7,000 grant.

Past scams in Michigan have included requests for Social Security numbers, home addresses or insurance information. Schuette noted that the federal government will never contact you with a one-time offer that requires your account information on the spot.


Consumers should also beware of callers requesting personal information for any of the following reasons:

  • to conduct a survey on your satisfaction after purchasing or receiving a government service;
  • to protect the call recipient from becoming the victim of fraud;
  • to claim a shopping spree or valuable gasoline coupons in return for a minimal processing charge to be debited directly from your bank account or pre-paid credit card;
  • to qualify for a new government program or to continue in a current government program like Medicare or Social Security;
  • to claim a prize or to be eligible for a pre-approved credit card, loan, or government grant;
  • to dispute the victim’s failure to report for jury duty, the consequence of which is  being arrested;
  • to qualify for discount programs;
  • to promote a program or charity tied to recent news events or tragedies;
  • to pay to help a loved one in a medical or legal emergency;
  • to pay off a (bogus) past due payday loan debt, or face threatened legal action;
  • to obtain an auto warranty or lower credit card interest rates.


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