KANSAS CITY, MO. – The FBI on Tuesday issued a warning about the latest phone scam that spoofs the FBI’s real phone number on victims’ caller ID.
The FBI reported scammers posing as special agents from an FBI satellite office of the FBI Kansas City Division bilked someone in St. Louis out of more than $100,000.
In the laters iteration of the scam, the FBI said scammers warn their victims that their social security number has been stolen and used to purchase property, stocks and open bank accounts in the victim’s name. To safeguard the victim’s money, the scammers give instructions on how to wire the victim’s life savings to the “FBI” for safekeeping.
“These are old scams that keep evolving with a new twist,” said FBI Kansas City Division Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan. “Because there are endless versions of these scams, please remember this – the FBI will never ask/demand money for any reason. When someone asks for your money (especially through a wire transfer) or your personal or financial information, be suspicious and verify the legitimacy of the request.”
Since spoofed phone numbers belong to a legitimate agency, organization, or business, the FBI said anyone who receives a suspicious call from what appears to be a legitimate number can take the next step by calling the organization in question.
“Look up the phone number instead of the number given, then pick up the phone and call the agency, organization, or business to verify,” the FBI said. “Scammers will do everything, including threaten or create a sense of urgency, to keep you from ending the call. A legitimate caller will encourage you to take the time to verify.”
The FBI advised anyone who becomes a victim of a phone or an online scam to immediately contact the bank they used to try to recall the wire transfer. From there, the agency said the person targeted for the scam should file an online complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Compliance Center.