FBI Warns of Phone Scammers Posing as Federal Agents

March 2, 2020

The FBI is warning the public to be aware of a scam where a caller pretends to be an FBI special agent and threatens to arrest you if money isn’t sent.

These claims are false and the calls are not real. The FBI defines this type of scam as government impersonation fraud, in which criminals impersonate government officials in an attempt to collect money. The criminals often threaten to extort victims with physical or financial harm or the release of sensitive data.

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), more than 10,978 people nationwide reported being victims of government impersonation scams in 2018, with losses totaling more than $64 million.

In one instance in Baltimore last month, a victim reported receiving a phone call from someone who claimed to be an FBI agent. The caller falsely informed the victim that he had an arrest warrant along with a letter outlining the charges against him. The caller claimed that the victim would be arrested if he didn’t send money.
The FBI wants to remind the public that federal law enforcement will not call or email people to demand money or threaten arrest. Victims should not send any money to these criminals.

Anyone who feels they were a victim of this or any other online or phone scam should report the incident immediately using the IC3 website at ic3.gov.
More information about government impersonation schemes and other online frauds can be found in IC3’s 2018 Internet Crime Report and at fbi.gov.