Government Impersonators Targeting North Florida Residents
Scammers Claim to be Representatives of the FBI in Need of Personal Information
JACKSONVILLE, FL—The FBI Jacksonville Division has received notice that scammers are posing as representatives of the FBI to target residents in North Florida and steal their personal information. Multiple versions of the government impersonation scam have been reported in recent days, all of which exploit intimidation tactics.
In one version, a victim reported first receiving a call from an individual who claimed to represent a sweepstakes company and offered a sizeable prize. When the victim declined to provide personal information to acquire the so-called prize, the call ended. Later, the victim received a second call from an individual who claimed to be a representative of the FBI who was investigating the sweepstakes company. The victim was asked to provide personal information to help further the so-called investigation. When the victim declined, the caller became aggressive in his demands.
In the second version, a victim reported receiving a call from an individual who claimed to be a representative of the FBI who was investigating a confiscated shipment of illegal materials addressed to the victim’s residence. The caller claimed to have an immediate need for personal information about the victim—to include financial account numbers—in order to eliminate the victim as a suspect in the alleged crime. When the victim declined to provide the information, the caller threatened fines and jail time.
Be advised, the FBI does not call or email threats nor demand money as part of any investigation. If you are contacted by a representative of the FBI as part of an investigation, you may verify their identity by contacting your local field office (FBI Jacksonville, 904-248-7000).
All types of scams and fraud should be reported to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.IC3.gov. Filing a complaint with IC3 allows the FBI to identify patterns which aid in federal investigations as well as public awareness and crime-prevention education efforts. If you are a victim and suffered a financial loss or identity theft, also consider filing a report with your law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.identitytheft.gov/.