The FBI Houston Division is warning the public once again about a phone scam that spoofs, or fraudulently displays, the FBI Houston Division’s real telephone number on the victim’s caller ID.
The scam involves individuals spoofing the FBI Houston Division’s phone number, 713-693-5000, to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from the Bureau. The callers claim to be FBI agents attempting to collect a fine in lieu of arrest.
They tell the victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card or gift card and read the card number over the phone to supposedly satisfy the fine. The scammers may also try to obtain personal information, such as a name, social security number, date of birth, and banking information.
Scammers use many tactics to sound credible to trick the victim into believing they are an FBI agent. They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, nonexistent case numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and office addresses.
The public is reminded that neither the FBI, nor any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency, calls or emails private citizens to demand money, payment, or threaten arrest. DO NOT send money, any type of payment, or give your personal information to these callers. It’s a scam.
Victims of phone or online scams can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.