June 25, 2024

![Attorney General of Oregon, Ellen Rosenblum](https://investmentshoax.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/rosenblum3-250×375.jpg)

Have you recently stumbled upon an email from the alleged “Financial Hardship Department”? It’s essential to be aware that this is a deceptive email scam. The ultimate aim is to bombard your device with harmful malware and pilfer your personal as well as financial information.

The email deceitfully poses as a kind-hearted government agency or organization ready to lend a helping hand to those in financial distress. The email insinuates that you’ve been selected for financial aid and requests you to call a specific number to finalize your enrollment. Sounds tempting, right? Unfortunately, it’s all an elaborate ruse to fish out your sensitive data.

Here’s an example of a classic “Financial Hardship Department” scam message:

“Hi it’s Shela with the Financial Assistance Department. We attempted contacting you at home, but we couldn’t get a response… I’m unsure if you’ve been in touch with an assigned agent, but I can see that you’re pre-approved for our Hardship Program, I’ll leave this pending for now. Please spare me about five minutes of your day and give me a call so we can discuss the finer details. My phone number is: 8‎55-‎45‎5-51‎77, Thanks, Shela Montalbano.”

Take note that authentic institutions, whether they’re financial or governmental, will never ask for personal details over a phone call, email, or text message, especially without proper verification. If, perchance, you encounter an email, text, or phone call resembling the “Financial Hardship Department” scam:

  • Do not entertain the email or dial the given phone number.
  • Steer clear from clicking on any links or downloading attachments included in the email. They could potentially carry malware or viruses designed to sabotage your device.
  • Ensure you never divulge any personal data such as your SSN, banking details, or credit card info.
  • If, unfortunately, you have already engaged with the scam email or exposed your personal information to the fraudsters, immediately alert your bank or credit card provider. Flag any suspicious activity and tighten the security around your accounts. You may also want to think about activating a [fraud alert or credit freeze on your accounts](https://oregonconsumer.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5d77e768897b0ca44106cc017&id=e71a7612ec&e=f6186ef859) to barricade any unauthorized entry. Do not forget to file a complaint with Oregon Department of Justice online at [www.oregonconsumer.gov](https://oregonconsumer.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5d77e768897b0ca44106cc017&id=d51f9f7949&e=f6186ef859) or by ringing 1-877-877-9392.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How can I discern a scam from a legitimate email?

    Legitimate agencies never ask for personal information over an email or a call without adequate verification. Always verify the source before providing any information. Be aware of poorly written emails, generic greetings, and false threats of account closures.

    2. What should I do if I have fallen victim to such a scam?

    Immediately get in touch with your bank or credit card provider to report suspicious activity. Follow this by placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on your accounts to deter unauthorized access. Register a complaint with your local law enforcement agency.

    3. How can I protect myself from such scams in the future?

    Always maintain rigorous security measures for all your accounts. Regularly change your passwords, avoid opening suspicious emails, steer clear from clicking on unknown links, and importantly, never share your personal information without confirming the authenticity of the source.