Fraudsters Are Impersonating Our Phone Numbers And Agents – FBI Issues Public Warning

The FBI has issued a warning to the public about a nationwide scam
involving perpetrators impersonating its agents and phone numbers.

In targeting unsuspecting victims, the fraudulent caller uses
technology to “spoof” the phone number from an actual FBI field office,
so victims believe the inbound call is coming from federal law
enforcement.

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The agency indicated scammers have mimicked telephone numbers
belonging to FBI field offices in California, Montana, Colorado, Texas,
Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. Once connected with a targeted
victim, scammers indicate that a warrant of arrest exists for the
person, which will be dismissed by a federal court in exchange for
immediate payment.

To increase the appearance of authenticity of the scam, perpetrators
have conducted research on their victims including their names and
information about their background. In another variation of the scam,
the agency said victims may also be told:

– Their Social Security number has been compromised and linked to money laundering.

–  Their Social Security number has been used to open bank accounts and that the government would seize those accounts.

– To protect their money, funds should be transferred to accounts
specifically set up by the government, which would be protected until
the situation is resolved, at which point the money would then be
returned.

– Failure to transfer money could lead to loss of funds and possible arrest.

According to Federal Trade Commission data, complaints about scams in
which callers pretend to be from the government have reached an
all-time high. Americans have forfeited at least $450 million this way
to government impostor scams since 2014, the FTC said.

In announcing the latest scam involving scammers pretending to be
from the FBI, the agency says federal law enforcement officers do not
call private citizens to request money or threaten arrest. 

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