FBI Warns Public of Telephone Scam
Thomas R. Metz, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI Omaha Division, is notifying the public about a telephone scam that is targeting local residents. The scam begins with the caller identifying themselves as an FBI employee, and the Omaha Division telephone number is erroneously displayed in the caller ID as the originating number. The caller advises the recipient that they are eligible for a grant from the grants department of the federal government. The recipient is then asked to provide either credit card or bank account information in order to pay a processing fee for the grant, or they are told to send funds via Western Union. The FBI is in no way associated with providing grants to individuals or organizations.
The Omaha FBI Office has received multiple complaints from residents who have received one of these phone calls. As with most scams, the best protection against fraud is public awareness. The following tips are provided to avoid becoming a victim of a scam:
- Scammers count on your lack of knowledge, so take the time to educate yourself about any offer you receive.
- Don’t be pushed into a hasty decision.
- Don’t provide financial information over the phone to unfamiliar companies or agencies.
- Fraudulent telemarketers understand human nature—we all want to believe that it’s our lucky day, that we can get a great deal, or that we can solve our financial problems.
- It’s illegal for telemarketers to ask for a fee up front.
If you receive one of these calls, please remember that when you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.
If you have information about a fraud, report it to a state, local, or federal law enforcement agency. You may call the Omaha Field Office of the FBI at 402-493-8688.
Additional tips for avoiding telemarketing fraud can be found at www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud.