FBI Philadelphia
Public Affairs Specialist Carrie Adamowski
(215) 418-4135
April 4, 2016

Phone Scam Uses Pressure Tactics, Spoofed FBI Phone Numbers

The Philadelphia Division of the FBI is again warning the public to be on alert for a phone scam that spoofs, or fraudulently displays, the FBI’s name and telephone number on the recipient’s caller ID.

FBI field offices across the country have received reports of similar calls, showing local FBI phone numbers. The caller claims to be an FBI agent and demands immediate payment—for school loans, back taxes, and even parking tickets. The caller often knows the name, background, and personal cell phone number of the intended victim.

International students have also been targeted. The caller claims there are problems with the visitor’s financial aid and/or student visa and threatens deportation if payment is not made.

Please note that the FBI does not call or e-mail people to demand money or threaten arrest.

To avoid becoming the victim of a scam:

  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls
  • Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact
  • Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller makes you uncomfortable or says things that don’t sound right, hang up

Victims of phone or online scams can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.