The FBI is warning Oregonians to be on alert for a phone scam that shows up on your caller ID as an FBI telephone number. In a number of of recent incidents, a caller claims that person answering the phone has an unpaid ticket or otherwise owes money. The caller claims the person will be arrested if a fine is not paid.
The originating telephone number used by the scammer is “spoofed” — meaning that it appears as if the call is being made from one of the FBI’s Oregon offices.
The FBI reminds the public that 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 e-mail address. The FBI reminds you to limit the information you freely provide online, including on social media sites. Phone scammers typically use fear, intimidation, and threats to get a victim to send money.
There have also been reports that residents in Lincoln County have been getting calls from a Jamaica area code telling whoever answers the phone that they’ve won a lot of money in a lottery but to claim it they have to fork over some of the income taxes associated with such a large win. It’s one of the oldest scams in the book.
To protect against fraud:
* Never give out personal information to someone you did not initiate contact with.
* Before signing up for a contest or e-mail 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.
* Scammers count on your lack of knowledge, so take the time to educate yourself about any offer you receive.
Individuals receiving such calls or needing to report any Internet related crime can file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.