FBI Phoenix
Brooke Brennan and Kevin Smith
(623) 466-1999
July 25, 2019

FBI Warns of Phone Scammers Posing as Federal Agents

The FBI is warning the public to be aware of a scam where callers pretend to be an FBI Special Agent and threaten to arrest the person 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 Crimes Complaint Center (IC3), more than 10,978 people nationwide reported being victims of government impersonation scams in 2018, with losses totaling more than $64,000,000.

In one instance reported in Tucson, Arizona, this month, a victim reported receiving a phone call from someone who claimed to be an FBI employee. The caller informed the victim that he had an arrest warrant and that he would be arrested if he didn’t send money. Other calls followed from criminals claiming to be affiliated with the FBI.

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 the victim of this or any other online scam should report the incident immediately using the IC3 website at www.ic3.gov.

More information about government impersonation schemes and other online frauds can be found at https://pdf.ic3.gov/2018_IC3Report.pdf and www.fbi.gov.