Scammers 'Phish' for TSP Participant Info

March 20, 2006 ( - Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) officials halted online account transactions briefly last week after participants reported receiving a suspicious e-mail.

The Washington Post reports that the bogus e-mail informed recipients that a new e-mail address had been added for their TSP accounts and directed them to click on a link to “if you did not authorize this change.” The link took recipients to a mock site that asked them to type in their Social Security number and TSP personal identification number, or PIN.

The next message told recipients that their TSP account was blocked and directed them to type in a credit card number and ATM PIN number, then click the “Unblock my Account” button, according to the Post. The message contained grammatical errors and misspellings.

The TSP learned of the ‘phishing’ last Thursday around 2 p.m. and stopped transactions on its Web site around 6 p.m. Once the bogus Web site was turned off on Friday, TSP officials restored full service on the TSP site. They also contacted the FBI.

TSP officials said they suspect the scammers were after credit card information and doubt they could meet criteria for taking money out of a TSP account, however they are conducting reviews to detect any suspicious account activity.

The scam has disrupted processing of loans and withdrawals, which may be delayed for two days, in part because of the TSP internal review.