NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – If your phone rings and it appears the FBI is calling, think twice.
“We saw, here in Nashville, where a fraudster spoofed our local number to the FBI office and they were contacting people,” said FBI Special Agent Stephen Fogarty.
It’s a scam, Fogarty said, that uses the actual 615 number to trick people into thinking they’re the subject of a fraud investigation and a simple payment will clear up the issue.
“That’s not how we operate, but that’s how the fraudsters operate.”
The so-called agent will describe a variety of scenarios in order to glean information. They claim the victim’s social security number is suspended and payments will stop if the victim doesn’t confirm personal information.
Other times, they claim there’s a warrant out for the victim’s arrest with an overwhelming sense of urgency. “The entire time, they will tell you, you gotta do it now. It has to be done now.”
And, this scam targets everyone.
“If they found a Spanish speaker, they’d say hold on, the fraudsters were able to get someone who spoke Spanish on the line.”
To confirm you’re speaking to an actual agent, consider this tip from Special Agent Fogarty. “I say look, I get it, you don’t know me from Adam. So if you go online yourself, you can look up our public number and you can call that number. Ask for me to make sure I am who I say I am.”
If the person on the other end of the line won’t allow you to call them back, Fogarty says to hang up and remember this.
“The government is never going to threaten you or ask you for money over the phone. We are never going to do that,” stressed Fogarty.