FBI warns public of new phone scam

The FBI is warning Texans to be on alert for a phone scam that displays an FBI phone number on the caller ID. In the scam, an impersonated government official uses intimidation tactics to demand payment of money supposedly owed to the government. In some cases, university students are targeted and informed they owe delinquent student loan fees.

Recently, the FBI has received reports of a wave of phone scam attempts targeting citizens in Texas. Callers with foreign accents identify themselves as FBI agents, IRS agents or other government officials and request immediate payment of unpaid taxes, delinquent fees or other debt to the government. The caller often knows the name, background, and personal cell phone number of the intended victim. The originating number used by the callers is masked as the phone number for the FBI’s local office in Wichita Falls at (940) 766-4441.

The FBI is reminding the public that they, the IRS and other law enforcement and government officials do not call private citizens requesting money. Such phone calls are fraudulent. Call recipients should hang up immediately and notify law enforcement.

The FBI strongly encourages anyone contacted by a caller who claims to work with the FBI to verify the information with their local FBI Field Office. Contact information can be found at www.fbi.gov.

Individuals who have fallen victim to this type of scam are encouraged to file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, https://www.ic3.gov.