The FBI is warning North Carolina residents about a phone scam that spoofs the FBI’s telephone number on the victim’s caller ID. FBI offices in at least eight states have received multiple calls reporting a scam involving someone claiming to be an FBI agent and demanding repayment for a school loan.
On occasion, the caller even threatens the victim with arrest and not graduating from school if the fees were not immediately satisfied via MoneyGram. The caller often knows the name of the intended victim and has called a personal cellphone number, as well as a work number, to reach intended victims. In addition, the originating telephone number used by the scammer is displayed or “spoofed” as that of the telephone number of the Charlotte FBI field office.
Scammers have spoofed the phone numbers of FBI offices in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Montana and Wisconsin. The FBI does not call private citizens requesting money.
There are a number of ways people with criminal intentions can obtain your name, phone number or email address. Never give out personal information to someone you did not initiate contact with. Before signing up for a contest or email distribution list, make sure the business has a policy not to share your information or sell it to a third party. Be leery of anyone you did not initiate contact with who asks for payment using a third party such as MoneyGram or GreenDot prepaid cards.
Individuals receiving such calls or needing to report any Internet related crime can file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.