Crime & Courts

FBI’s Charlotte office warns of phone scam

The Charlotte office of the FBI is warning North Carolinians to be aware of a phone scam that spoofs FBI office phone numbers on the victim’s caller ID.

The scam involves someone claiming to be an FBI agent and demanding repayment for a school loan, parking ticket or other matter. The caller threatens the victim with arrest if the fees are not paid via MoneyGram.

The originating phone number used by the scammer is displayed or “spoofed” as the telephone number of the Charlotte FBI field office, one of its resident agency offices or even a direct extension of an FBI Charlotte employee.

Phone scammers typically use fear, intimidation and threats to get a victim to send money.

The FBI says it never calls private citizens requesting money.

To protect against fraud, the FBI recommends never giving out personal information to someone you did not contact. 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.

Anyone receiving such calls or who needs to report an Internet-related crime can file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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