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Be on the Alert for an aggressive phone scam that targets Federal annuitants: The scammer claims to be an OPM employee. The scammer threatens to end the annuitant’s retirement, threatens that a “magistrate” will criminally prosecute, and demands an immediate payment. This is a government impostor scam – Do not send money.
Any communication of this type is NOT from an OPM official. OPM will not make such calls. Scams like this one are carried out by skilled impostors, who may sound convincing. They may use real names and titles – and they may know a lot about their targets, including personally identifiable information. The scammers may alter the caller ID to make it look like OPM is calling. Scammers may also attempt to use email to “phish” for more information. Finally, these impostors may leave an “urgent” callback request. Don’t fall for it.
Signs of a SCAM (and these are actions OPM does NOT do):
Call to demand immediate payment.
Demand that you pay a debt first before any appeal.
Request that you pay using gift cards, prepaid debit or credit cards, wire transfers, Western Union, MoneyGram, or PayPal, etc.
Request for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or by email.
Threaten referral to a Magistrate, the police, or law enforcement.
If you suspect the caller is an impostor:
Do not engage with the callers. Simply hang-up.
Note the date and time of the call, as well as the caller’s phone number.
Report it to OPM’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), https://www.opm.gov/our-inspector-general/
For Help and to Report suspected fraud:
Call the OIG Hotline: 877-499-7295.
Click to report online, Hotline Complaint Form
Write: OPM OIG
1900 E Street NW, Room 6400
Washington, DC 20415-1100
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a report on government impostor scams, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0048-government-impostor-scams. You may also report suspected fraud to the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
It’s February! And that means tax filing season has kicked off and you will need a copy of your 1099R, detailing annuity payments received during 2016, to start the annual fun. Retirement Services finished printing and mailing out hard copy forms last week. If you have not yet received yours, it’s probably on the way but regardless, you can access your 1099R electronically today on Services Online.
Simply go to https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov/ . If you do not remember your password, click on the “Forgot Password” link to get a new one. While in Services Online, make sure we have your correct mailing and email addresses to ensure you receive future correspondence from us. And after filing, return to Services Online to tweak your tax withholdings for FY 2017, if necessary.
If you enjoy getting your 1099R quickly and easily online, like thousands of your fellow annuitants, and have not already done so, elect to “opt in” to go green and skip the “hard copy” entirely next year! Plus with the savings from not having to mail over 2 million 1099Rs, we could help improve services.
Skip the call to Retirement Services, Services Online is available 24-7 during tax season and year-round!
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