Last month, the FBI field office in Memphis, TN issued a warning that scammers have spoofed the FBI Nashville Resident Agency phone number. Scammers are spoofing the number in connection with a Social Security scam. In this instance, the fraudsters are telling possible victims that their Social Security number has been suspended and a warrant for their arrest has been issued. The victim is then instructed to purchase gift cards and call back to provide the numbers on those gift cards.
The FBI classifies this type of scam as government impersonation fraud. Legitimate law enforcement officers will NEVER ask for cash or gift cards as payment. Scammers often use fear and manipulative tactics leading victims to make snap decisions.
How to protect yourself:
- Be cautious answering phone calls from numbers you do not recognize.
- Never send money or gift cards to people you do not know.
- Never reveal personal information like your banking information, Social Security number, etc.
- Ask questions and details and don’t be afraid to hang up.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of this scam or another online scam, you can report to the FBI using their internet crime center at www.ic3.gov.