The FBI released a warning on Monday about scammers impersonating government officials or law enforcement agencies before attempting to extort people and steal personal information.
The notice says scammers are spoofing authentic phone numbers and names while also using fake credentials of well-known government and law enforcement agencies.
“Scammers will use an urgent and aggressive tone, refusing to speak to or leave a message with anyone other than their targeted victim; and will urge victims not to tell anyone else, including family, friends, or financial institutions, about what is occurring,” the FBI explained.
“Payment is demanded in various forms, with the most prevalent being prepaid cards, wire transfers, and cash, sent by mail or inserted into cryptocurrency ATMs. Victims are asked to read prepaid card numbers over the phone or text a picture of the card. Mailed cash will be hidden or packaged to avoid detection by normal mail scanning devices. Wire transfers are often sent overseas so funds almost immediately vanish.”
Scammers typically call victims and say their identity was used in a crime before asking them to verify their social security number and date of birth.
Some victims are threatened with prosecution or arrest if they do not provide the information or pay