Beware of Fake 911 Calls from Scammers Demanding Payment or Information
September 11, 2015
Cyber-criminals or scammers are able to spoof the "911" emergency number - meaning the cyber-crooks can call their potential victims and let their telephone calls appear as if they are coming from the actual 9-1-1 emergency number. Once the cyber-crooks or scammers have called their potential victims, the victims will see "911" displayed on their caller IDs and think the calls are legitimate, although the calls were made from other numbers.
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The scammer will then claim they are calling from the Attorney General's Office or the police, and will claim the victim will be arrested for some fraudulent activity, and claim the victim must pay a fine in order to avoid arrest or legal action.
But, the Attorney General's Office or the police will never call threatening someone with arrest and ask that person to pay them money or a fine over the telephone. So, persons who receive similar calls should terminate them and report the calls to the Federal Trade Commission or to the Attorney General's Office. Recipients of the fake calls should not respond to the calls, should not dial the numbers the callers ask them to contact, or follow any instructions given to them by the callers.
The scammers will ask their potential victims to send payment using prepaid debit cards, Western Union, MoneyGram or other money transfer services, or ask the victims to wire-transfer money to a bank account. These are the preferred payment methods for scam artists, because once the money is sent, it is difficult to trace or recover.
It is important that the public knows that they should never send money or disclose their personal information to people who call them unexpectedly and demand payment, even if it appears to be an emergency call or a call from the government.
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