Tuesday, December 20, 2016

FBI Warns Of Phone Scam That Uses Threats, Spoofed FBI Phone Numbers

The FBI's Philadelphia Division offers the below warning:

The FBI’s Philadelphia Division is again warning the public to be on alert for a phone scam that spoofs, or fakes, the FBI’s name and actual telephone number on the recipient’s caller ID.

We have seen our main number (215-418-4000) spoofed in this manner, as well as the phone numbers of the division’s resident agencies:

Allentown - 610-433-6488
Fort Washington - 215-641-8910
Harrisburg - 717-232-8686
Newtown Square - 610-353-4500
Scranton - 570-344-2404
South Jersey - 856-795-9556
State College - 814-234-0341
Williamsport - 570-323-3791

Scammers have targeted residents around the region, claiming to be with the FBI; the intended victim may be told there’s a federal warrant for their arrest, which will be thrown out in exchange for immediate payment.

FBI field offices across the country have received reports of similar calls, showing local FBI phone numbers. The caller says they are an FBI agent and demands money – for school loans, back taxes, even unpaid parking tickets. The caller often knows the name, background, and personal cell phone number of the intended victim.

International students attending U.S. colleges and universities have also been targeted. The caller insists there are problems with the visitor’s financial aid, and/or student visa, and threatens deportation if payment is not made.

Please note that the FBI does not call or e-mail people to demand money or threaten arrest.

To avoid becoming the victim of a scam:

Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls

Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact

Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller makes you uncomfortable or says things that don’t sound right, hang up

Victims of phone or online scams can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.

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