Some robocalls are easy to spot. When a robotic voice warns your Netflix account is locked or that a credit card you don’t have has been compromised, it’s obvious you should just hang up.
But not all scam calls are so easy to spot. Thieves are always coming up with clever ways to trick victims out of their personal data and rip them off. Thankfully there are some steps you can take to stop scam and robocalls on your own. Tap or click here for ways to stop them in their tracks.
Scam calls can be a truly frightening experience, as some residents in Florida recently found out. Fraudsters have been impersonating FBI agents over the phone in an attempt to steal personal information. You won’t believe how many people are actually falling for it.
The scam calls
Callers claim to be representatives of the FBI. But they are nothing more than scammers who want to steal their victims’ personal details. In numerous calls, the scammers became aggressive and threatened the victims with jail time.
The FBI field office in Jacksonville detailed two variations of the scam. In the first version, the scammers got aggressive with uncooperative victims.
Here’s how the FBI detailed what’s going on:
- The caller claims to be a representative of a sweepstakes company.
- The victim is informed that they have won a substantial prize.
- The victim was asked to provide things like their Social Security number or financial account details.
- When the victim declined, the call was ended.
- A second call was then made to the victim.
- The scammer claimed to be a representative of the FBI.
- The scammer said the FBI is investigating the sweepstakes company mentioned earlier.
- The victim was asked to provide details to help with the investigation.
- When the victim declined, the scammer became aggressive.
The second version of the scam is where victims are threatened with jail time.
- The caller claims to be a representative of the FBI.
- Informs the victim that the FBI confiscated shipment of illegal materials addressed to the victim’s residence.
- Insists that the victim provide the FBI with personal details to eliminate the victim as a suspect in the alleged crime.
- When the victim declines, the caller threatens fines and jail time.
What should you do?
The FBI Jacksonville Division issued a statement on the scam calls, urging anyone who received such communications to report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov. The FBI also made it clear that it will never call or email threats nor demand money as part of any investigation.
If you are a victim and suffered a financial loss or identity theft, also consider filing a report with your law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov/.
And if a representative of the FBI contacts you, you can verify their identity by contacting your local field office. You should also never give out personal information like your Social Security number or banking details to people you don’t trust.