February 03, 2016
Special Agent Stephen Emmett
FBI Atlanta’s Columbus and Valdosta Offices Targeted in Phone Scam
The FBI Atlanta Division continues to warn the public of an ongoing and prolific series of phone scams that target public FBI telephone numbers as part of their ruse. The latest emerging scams have targeted the FBI Atlanta’s Columbus, Georgia Resident Agency as well as its Valdosta, Georgia Resident Agency. While the initial calls may vary or remain vague, they have the targeted individual calling the actual FBI office as it appears on their caller ID. A previous warning, dated September 28, 2015, cautioned the public that college students were being targeted in a similar fashion and were even threatened with fines and arrest (see below).
The public is once again reminded that the FBI does not conduct its business in this manner and anyone receiving such calls can file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.IC3.gov.
College Students Targeted in Phone Scam
The FBI Atlanta Division is warning consumers to be on alert for a phone scam that primarily targets college students while displaying the FBI’s telephone number on the recipient’s caller ID.
The FBI has received multiple calls from college students at various universities in Georgia, as well as universities in other states, to include Wisconsin, complaining of a phone scam involving someone claiming to represent the U.S. government or even claiming to be FBI agents. In those cases, the caller advised the students of delinquent student loans or dues, delinquent taxes, or even overdue parking tickets. On occasion, the caller even threatens the students with arrest and not graduating from school if these fees were not immediately satisfied via MoneyGram.
During each attempt to gain personally identifiable information from the students, the caller claims to have specific student information. In addition, the originating telephone number used by the scammer is displayed or “spoofed” as that of the telephone number of the Atlanta FBI Field Office.
The public is reminded that the FBI does not call private citizens requesting money and to never give out unsolicited requests for personal information to callers that you don’t know.
Individuals receiving such calls can file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.IC3.gov.