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GARS members have recently been targeted by a variety of phishing scams, including emails, phone calls, and text messages that attempt to impersonate or imply affiliation with GARS.

The fraudulent emails may provide links, including DocuSign, and allege to provide the member with the option to sign up and receive their monthly GARS benefit payments four days early by providing personal financial information, including bank account information.  GARS does not offer an early benefit payment option or request personal or banking information by email or use of DocuSign.  Please note that our emails are always sent from an email address.

Phone calls and Text messages
Several members have recently reported receiving unsolicited phone calls and text messages from individuals claiming to be associated with GARS.  These individuals initially contact the member by phone call or text message and attempt to set up counseling appointments with the member, generally through a follow-up email and/or text message.  These phone calls have been received on State landlines and State issued cell phones.  GARS does not contract with anyone outside of the agency to contact members about retirement counseling appointments or other financial services. GARS does not cold call members for retirement consultations, and only schedules retirement counseling appointments at the request of the member.

If you receive a suspicious email, call, or text message that purports to be GARS that you suspect is a scam, please report this activity to the GARS call center at 217-785-7444. Information that you provide can help GARS prevent and detect schemes that impact our members. 

GARS Fraud Reporting Guidance


We understand that in many cases, people wish to report fraud but would like to remain anonymous, however this does provide some challenges. If you are submitting a report anonymously, please review the tips below to help you in submitting an allegation of fraud. Generally, provide as much information as you have available and consider including:

  • Detailed information about the person involved in the fraud, such as the person’s full name and address (city and state), current position or title, current or previous elected office, work address and current employment status (active, inactive, retired, disabled). For retirees, please consider providing information such as the retirement date, current address, approximate age, information pertaining to prior state service credit and employment, and if applicable, date of death.
  • Detailed information pertaining to the alleged fraud. Please provide any detail related to falsified or fraudulent applications, forms, or certifications provided by the individual alleged to defraud the retirement system. Include any information related to falsified or manipulated earnings or service credit.
  • Information on when and where the fraud took place.
  • Who else would have knowledge of the fraud (colleagues, subordinates, neighbors, etc.).
  • Information on ineligible or improper benefits received. Include information such as ineligible or fraudulent payees, dependents, beneficiaries, or survivors.
  • Any additional detail or support to substantiate the alleged fraud or help further our efforts.
  • For allegations of disability fraud, please consider providing information pertaining to the falsified or feigned disability and any observed activities which may not be consistent with the disability. Include any known outside employment and if known, please include the name of the employer, approximate work address or contact information, and type of work performed by the disabled.



Benefit Fraud is a Crime!

GARS is committed to fighting benefit fraud to protect the benefits owed to our members and retirees. Attempting to defraud GARS carries serious consequences including prison time, fines, and termination of GARS benefits. Each convictable fraud offense is punishable as a Class 3 felony. GARS will do everything within its powers to investigate fraud internally and to work with governmental agencies, State and local law enforcement, and state's attorneys in uncovering and prosecuting fraudulent actions that impact the retirement system.

Please note that GARS does not investigate reports of fraud, waste, and abuse that pertains to matters outside of the benefits that GARS administers. Other governmental entities, including the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General (OEIG), have been established to investigate allegations of fraud, waste or abuse occurring within State of Illinois agencies under the Governor and such complaints should be directed to the appropriate agency.

We provide multiple methods for reporting alleged fraud that impacts GARS. Reports of fraud can be submitted by phone, mail, email, or fax.

Call: 217-782-3437
Fax: 217-547-9748

General Assembly Retirement System of Illinois
c/o Internal Auditor
2101 S. Veterans Parkway
P.O. Box 19255
Springfield, IL 62794-9255

Complete a report form and send to GARS by one of the above methods.

Providing Information

It is very important that you provide as much information as possible about the alleged fraud. The more you tell us, the better the chance we can effectively investigate the allegation.

If you are submitting an allegation of fraud, please consider completing the GARS Fraud Reporting Form. This helps us gather the most information by providing you with considerations on what to include. It is not necessary to complete this form to submit a report or allegation.

What we investigate

  • Generally, any fraudulent pension and benefit claims, payments or participation in the General Assembly Retirement System.
  • Allegations involving a member or retiree that falsifies, forges, misrepresents or alters any official record of the General Assembly Retirement System for personal gain. This includes falsified or forged birth and death certificates, medical reports, continuing eligibility certifications, and various benefit applications just to name a few.
  • Allegations of continuing to cash or receive retirement payments of a deceased retiree or benefit recipient.
  • Allegations of service credit manipulations to defraud the retirement system.
  • Falsified or feigned disability claims which result in improper disability benefits administered by GARS. This includes any direct misrepresentation, falsification, forgery or alteration of disability medical reports, certifications and other official documents.
  • Allegations of theft or misuse of personal information of GARS members and retirees. This includes fraudulently misrepresenting yourself or attempting to impersonate GARS or one of its employees for personal or financial gain.
  • Any improper handling or reporting of money or financial transactions in which GARS is involved or impacted.
  • Any illegal activity, dishonest or fraudulent act that impacts the General Assembly Retirement System and the benefits it administers.

What does GARS do with reports or allegations of fraud?

GARS Internal Audit collects each report of alleged fraud. Working with GARS staff, each report is reviewed to determine the course of action necessary to properly investigate, review or dismiss. GARS will not provide any follow-up correspondence unless additional information is needed to further our efforts. Under no circumstance will GARS provide you with the "status" of actions taken on the allegation.